November 21, 2011

Decker Named CAA Football Offensive Player of Year

QB Kevin Decker
CAA Offensive Player of Year

RICHMOND, Va. – University of New Hampshire senior quarterback Kevin Decker (Armonk, N.Y.) has been named the Colonial Athletic Association Football Offensive Player of the Year in voting conducted among the 11 league head coaches. Decker becomes the fourth student-athlete in school history to earn this distinction.

Decker leads the league in total offense/game (317.2 yards/fifth in FCS), passing yards/game (279.3/10th in FCS), pass efficiency (154.3/sixth in FCS), points responsible for/game (17.09/fifth in FCS) and TD passes (20). The first-year starter has completed 244 of 350 passes (69.7 percent) while rushing 121 times for 417 yards and a team-leading nine touchdowns. As just the fourth quarterback in school history to eclipse 3,000 passing yards in a season, Decker's 3,072 passing yards rank fifth in University single-season history, and he is within 246 passing yards of the No. 2 spot. His 3,951 career passing yards place him 10th all-time at UNH.

Running backs Barry Bourassa (1991), Jerry Azumah (1996, '98), and quarterback Ricky Santos (2005-07) were previous Wildcat recipients of the conference player of the year honor.

Decker, fellow co-captain Brian McNally (Cornwall, N.Y.) and junior linebacker Matt Evans (Hanover, Mass.) were named to the All-CAA Football First Team. Wide receiver R.J. Harris (Odenton, Md.), offensive lineman Ricky Archer (The Plains, Va.) and place kicker Mike MacArthur (North Hampton, N.H.) garnered All-CAA Second Team honors, while wide receiver Joey Orlando (Bethlehem, Pa.) and offensive lineman Seamus O'Neill (Manchester, N.H.) were tabbed to the All-CAA Third Team.

McNally, a member of the CAA Preseason All-Conference Team, garners All-CAA First Team honors for the second straight year. The 2008 CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year is ranked second in the conference with 7.5 sacks and paces the Wildcats with 11 tackles for loss. The defensive end is on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List for the top defensive player in the FCS, he was named to the College Sporting News Preseason All-America Team, The Sports Network/Fathead.com Preseason All-America Second Team, Phil Steele's Preseason All-American Second Team and the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) FCS Watch List.

LB Matt Evans
All-CAA First Team

Evans, the nation's leader in total tackles (154), tackles/game (14.0), solo tackles (88) and solo tackles/game (8.0), receives All-CAA First Team recognition for the first time in his career. The middle linebacker was a preseason all-conference selection following a berth on the 2010 All-CAA Second Team. The junior, who is on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List, is three tackles shy of besting his career high and the school's No. 2 spot in single-season tackles, plus he is currently ranked sixth all-time at the University with 324 stops, a mere seven tackles away from cracking the top five. He is a five-time CAA Defensive Player of the Week, including twice this season following a career-high, 24-tackle game at Lehigh on Sept. 10 and a 13-tackle, two-forced fumble performance in the Colonial Clash victory against Massachusetts on Oct. 22. His preseason accolades included placement on the College Sporting News All-America Team, The Sports Network/Fathead.com All-America First Team, Phil Steele's Preseason All-American First Team and the College Sports Madness All-America First Team.

Harris, a two-time CAA Rookie of the Week, lands on the all-conference second team after posting four 100-yard receiving games, amassing 46 receptions for a team-best 658 yards and a CAA-leading seven touchdown catches in 10 games. His 65.8 receiving yards/game are ranked fifth in the CAA, his 4.6 receptions/game are sixth-best in the league and he is No. 10 in scoring among non-kickers at 4.8 points/game.

Archer, a sophomore, has started all 13 games at right guard for an offense that is averaging a CAA-leading 444.1 yards of total offense, ranked eighth in the nation.

Fellow sophomore MacArthur earns All-CAA Second Team honors after notching a spot on the third team as a freshman in '10. The Granite State native is 14-for-17 (82.4 percent) in field goal kicking, which is No. 2 in the league, and he is fourth in the league in PAT kicking percentage (95.0) with 38 conversions in 40 attempts.

Orlando's 49 receptions lead all UNH receivers (sixth in CAA), and he is seventh in the league with 4.5 catches/game. The durable junior is the only Wildcat WR to start all 13 games, make at least one reception in every game and he's made multiple receptions in 13 of his last 14 games. Overall, the wideout has accumulated 617 yards and three receiving TDs in addition to 123 punt-return yards, highlighted by a 56-yard TD return at Lehigh on Sept. 10 that earned him the CAA Special Teams Player of the Week award.

O'Neill, a sophomore, has started all 13 games at left tackle a season after serving as a part-time starter at guard.

No. 11 UNH (8-3, 6-2 CAA), which qualified for the NCAA Division I Football Championship tournament for a nation-leading eighth straight season, will tangle with seventh-ranked Montana State (9-2, 7-1 Big Sky) in a second-round game Saturday, Dec. 3, at Bobcat Stadium in Bozeman, Mont. Ticket information and game time will be announced at a later time. For the latest information, visit www.unhwildcats.com.

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