FOOTBALL PICKED TO FINISH FIRST IN CAA NORTH DIVISION; QB R.J. TOMAN NAMED CAA PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

BALTIMORE — The University of New Hampshire football team was picked to finish first in the North Division of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) preseason coaches and media poll and junior quarterback R.J. Toman (Mission Viejo, Calif.) was named one of three CAA Preseason Players of the Year. The announcement was made today by the CAA during its annual Media Day at the ESPNZone in Baltimore.

The Wildcats, who recorded 12 first-place votes in the poll, led the way and were followed by Massachusets (7 first-place votes), Maine, Hofstra, Northeastern and Rhode Island. Richmond and Villanova were picked as the preseason favorites to win the CAA and the South Division, as each had 9 first place votes, followed by James Madison (1), Delaware, William and Mary, and Towson.

The Wildcats are coming off their fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA FCS Tournament and have advanced to the quarterfinals four of the last five years. UNH also won the CAA North Division title in 2008.

Toman, who was named a first-team preseason all-conference selection at quarterback, was selected as the CAA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year following an outstanding sophomore campaign where he passed for 3,110 yards and connected for 28 touchdowns. He led UNH to a 10-3 overall mark and 6-2 record in the CAA. Toman also rushed for six TDS in 2008. The UNH offense exploded for an average of 404.2 yards per contest with Toman as UNH’s starting field general.

Joining Toman on the first team was senior All-American Scott Sicko (Stillwater, N.Y.), who returns as UNH’s leading receiver after making 50 receptions for 660 yards and seven touchdowns. He has been named to almost every preseason All-America team by the various FCS newspapers, magazines and web sites.

Also honored by being named to the first-team defensive all-conference squad for UNH was junior corner Dino Vasso (Crum Lynne, Pa.). Vasso, a returning starter, led the Wildcats last season with five interceptions and returned them for a total of 113 yards, including a 66 yd. touchdown return. Vasso also led a vastly improved UNH defense in tackles with 99, including 66 unassisted and 33 assists.

UNH has been picked anywhere from No. 8 to No. 6 in most national preseason FCS polls and the Wildcats will open the 2009 campaign on Sept. 5 vs. St. Francis (Pa.) at Cowell Stadium. Tickets for all UNH home games can be purchased online at www.unhwildcats.com.
 

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