Evans Feted as College Sports Journal All-America; Decker, McNally earn honorable mention
PHILADELPHIA – University of New Hampshire junior linebacker Matt Evans (Hanover, Mass.) has been tabbed to the College Sports Journal Football Championship Subdivision All-America team, while senior quarterback Kevin Decker (Armonk, N.Y.) and senior defensive end Brian McNally (Cornwall, N.Y.) received honorable mention.
Evans, who was named the 17th Buck Buchanan Award Winner on Jan. 5 as the national defensive player of the year, garners yet another All-America accolade following a superb junior season. The 6-foot, 227-pound MLB was previously feted as a Walter Camp Football Foundation All-America, Phil Steele's All-America First Team, The Sports Network/Fathead.com All-America, College Sports Madness All-American, Beyond Sports College Network National Defensive Player of the Year, College Football Performance Awards Elite Linebacker Award, A.P. All-America Second Team, Gold Helmet Award as New England's player of the year, All-CAA First Team and All-New England Team.
Evans led the nation with 7.67 solo tackles/game and registered 165 total tackles, the second-most in the country and the second-highest, single-season total in school history. He tallied double-digit tackles in 10 of 12 games this season and in 21 of his last 25 games, including a career-high 24 tackles at Lehigh on Sept. 10 and a 13-tackle, two-forced fumble performance in the Colonial Clash victory against Massachusetts on Oct. 22. Evans notched three interceptions, including a 31-yard pick-six at Richmond on Sept. 24 and a 58-yard pick-six in the Wildcats' NCAA Division I FCS second-round playoff loss at Montana State on Dec. 3. Evans forced three fumbles, recovered a fumble and notched two sacks. With 334 career tackles, Evans is ranked No. 5 in University history and will go into his senior campaign just 100 tackles shy of the school's top spot.
Decker earned the CAA Offensive Player of the Year award after leading the league in total offense/game (308.4 yards/ninth in FCS), passing yards/game (272.7/13th in FCS), points responsible for/game (16.67/sixth in FCS) and tying for first in TD passes (22). The co-captain completed 262 of 380 passes (68.9 percent) while rushing 135 times for 429 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 3,272 passing yards are No. 3 all-time at UNH, and his 4,151 career passing yards place him ninth in school history.
McNally, who was named to the CAA All-Conference First Team, FCS All-New England Team and tabbed an ECAC First Team All-Star, ranked second in the CAA with 7.5 sacks, highlighted by a career-best 3.5 sacks in a win against Villanova on Oct. 8. The co-captain paced the Wildcats with 9.5 tackles for loss, totaled 26 stops (15 unassisted) and recovered a fumble while starting all 12 games.
The trio helped the Wildcats match a school record by defeating five ranked opponents en route to reaching the NCAA playoffs for the eighth consecutive season, the longest active streak in the nation. For more information on UNH football, visit www.unhwildcats.com.