RICHMOND, VA.—Senior quarterback Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.) was named the Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Year and eight other members of the University of New Hampshire football team earned CAA All-Conference honors for their outstanding efforts during the 2007 campaign.
    Santos, who was honored with co-recipient Joe Flacco of Delaware, earned Player of the Year honors for the third consecutive time, the only player in conference history to ever accomplish that feat. He earned Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2005 and shared the award with Massachusetts’ Steve Baylark in 2006. The reigning 2006 Walter Payton Award winner completed 73 percent of his passes (230-of-315) for 2,721 yards to achieve a league-leading pass efficiency rating of 164.2.
    Santos threw for 22 touchdowns and also rushed for nine touchdowns, leading New Hampshire to a 7-4 record and the Wildcats’ fourth consecutive playoff appearance. Santos earned three CAA Offensive Player of the Week honors in 2007 and was also honored twice by national media outlets as the top player in all of the FCS. Santos is now ranked third all-time in the NCAA FCS rankings for TD passes with 121, as he topped legendary QB Steve McNair of Alcorn State on Nov. 17.
    Santos is also ranked third all-time by the NCAA in passing yards with 12, 961/ As a CAA Offensive Player of the Year, Santos was also named a first-team all-conference selection. Also earning first-team honors was senior wide receiver Keith LeVan (Waltham, Mass.) who led the Wildcats in catches this season with 66 for 787 yards and a team-best 10 TD receptions. LeVan is ranked 18th in the nation in receptions this season and 42nd in receiving yards. He also moved up to second all-time in UNH history in receptions, behind only UNH record-breaker David Ball. LeVan presently ranks sixth at UNH in receiving yards as well. Senior offensive center Nick Couturier (Dover, N.H.) has probably been UNH’s steadiest force on the offensive line over the past three seasons and has helped the Wildcats advance to the NCAA championships four straight times. A very physical lineman, he has been instrumental in a UNH offense that has averaged over 400 yards per game in each of his seasons as a starter.
    The Wildcats also had one player named to the CAA first-team on the defensive side of the football in senior free safety Jeff Pammer (Northampton, Pa.). Pammer leads UNH in tackles this season with 119, which places him seventh on the UNH all-time season listing. With his 119 tackles he now has compiled a grand total of 348 career tackles, placing him second on UNH’s all-time career listing behind No. 1 Steve Doig, who completed his career at UNH with 434.
     Named second-team all-conference for the Wildcats on defense were senior linebacker Husain Karim (Burlington, Vt.), junior punter Tom Bishop (Newfield, N.Y.) and junior corner John Clements (Hammonton, N.Y.). Karim, who has been with the Wildcats as a starting linebacker the last two seasons, is second on the squad in tackles in 2007 with 118, good for eighth on UNH’s all-time season list. He also led UNH in forced fumbles with three. Bishop has had a fantastic year on special teams for UNH, averaging nearly 40 yards per punt (39.6 ypp.). In all he has punted 42 times in 2007 for 1,663 yards. He also had a huge game for UNH vs. Maine, averaging over 50 yards per punt and nailing a career-high 77-yarder vs. the Black Bears. Perhaps his best stat is his punts inside the 20 (15 this season). Clements has been a steady force for the Wildcats in the defensive backfield this season with 83 total tackles (42-41-83) and he has recorded an interception vs. Dartmouth , recovered a fumble and blocked a kick as well.
    Named third-team all-conference were sophomore tight end Scott Sicko (Stillwater, N.Y.) and senior defensive lineman Marvin Wright (Roxbury, Mass.). Sicko has enjoyed a tremendous first year of action in the conference and was UNH’s third-leading receiver in 2007 with 46 catches for 566 yards and four TDs. He is averaging 51.5 reception yards per game. Wright, a true team leader for the entire defense and defensive line, has played various positions in the defensive trenches during his career and is presently the Wildcats’ fifth-leading tackler with (25-55-80). Wright has also recovered a fumble, recorded three tackles for a loss of 12 yards and came up with a sack. All of these honorees will return to action on Nov. 24 when the Wildcats battle Northern Iowa in the first round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship. The game will take place at 6:35 p.m. (Central) at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
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