DURHAM, N.H.-Four members of the University of New Hampshire football team were named Preseason All-Americans as they prepare for the 2006 season. The announcement was made today by "The Sports Network".
Named to the offensive first team was junior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) and senior wide receiver David Ball (Orange, Vt.). Both players have been first-team All-Americans according to every I-AA media outlet that has released an All-American listing. Ball and Santos were honored by "Lindy's", "AnyGivenSaturday, "Athlon" and "Street & Smith's. Both players were finalists for the Walter Payton Award last season, which is given to the top player in I-AA football. Santos finished second in the voting and Ball seventh.
Senior defensive back/kick returner Corey Graham (Buffalo, N.Y.) earned some recognition as of late and was named to "The Sports Network's" second-team defensive squad for his efforts in the backfield. Graham is UNH's top defensive candidate for All-America honors this season and could be considered a strong candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award, which is given annually to the top defensive player in I-AA.
Receiving honorable mention All-America honors was senior offensive lineman Tucker Peterson (Clarendon, Vt.), who enters his third season as a starter in the trenches for the Wildcats.
UNH led the entire Atlantic 10 conference with four nominees. Seven Atlantic 10 teams were represented on the lists and the Atlantic 10 had more players than any other I-AA conference with 14.
Ranked No. 1 in several preseason polls, the UNH football team will open the 2006 season at Big Ten opponent Northwestern on Sept. 9. The squad will then play its first home contest on Sat., Sept. 16 vs. Stony Brook. Game time is 12 p.m. at Cowell Stadium. For more information on tickets for the upcoming season log onto www.unh wildcats.com.