BALTIMORE – University of New Hampshire senior defensive back Dino Vasso (Crum Lynne, Pa.) and junior defensive end Brian McNally (Cornwall, N.Y.) were each named to the 2010 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Preseason All-Conference Team, and the Wildcats were picked to finish third overall in the new-look CAA football standings. The all-conference team and the preseason poll of the league's 10 head coaches and media personnel were announced Wednesday during the annual CAA Football Media Day at M&T Bank Stadium.
Defending national champion Villanova was predicted to finish atop the conference, followed by 2009 national semifinalist William & Mary and then UNH, which received two first-place votes. Only Villanova (17) compiled more first-place votes than New Hampshire. James Madison was tabbed to finish fourth, followed by Delaware (1), Richmond, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Towson.
The Wildcats captured their second consecutive CAA North Division championship in 2009, though the league has shifted to one 10-team division in 2010. New Hampshire gears up for the season coming off a 10-3 campaign highlighted by a conference-best sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament and a berth in the national quarterfinals for the fifth time in six years.
Vasso, a team captain, earns a spot on the preseason all-conference squad for the second consecutive year after ranking second on the Wildcats in interceptions (five) and fifth in tackles (76) a year ago. The 2009 All-CAA Second-Team performer returned two interceptions for touchdowns -a 34-yard pick-six versus Dartmouth on September 26 and a 31-yarder at Towson the next week- and is slotted to start at cornerback for a fourth straight season.
McNally, the 2008 CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year, garners his first preseason all-conference honor after tallying 29 tackles, including 17 solo efforts, at defensive end last year. McNally's four sacks ranked second on the unit, and he racked up 6.5 tackles for a loss.
The Wildcats kick off the 2010 season at Cowell Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 4, against Central Connecticut State at 12:00 pm. For information on UNH football season tickets and individual game tickets, call (603) 862-4000 x5 or click here.