Preseason All-Big South Selection Tyler Santucci Leads Experienced Group
Aug. 21, 2009
Stony Brook, N.Y. - With fall football practice now in full swing for the Stony Brook University Seawolves, GoSeawolves.org will present a position by position look at the 2009 team during the course of fall camp. Today the Stony Brook linebackers will be featured.
Inexperience will not be a problem at linebacker for Stony Brook in 2009 as the Seawolves return all of their starters from last season and then some; a total of five letterwinners altogether. Together the group accounted for well over 200 tackles and 16.5 tackles for loss.
Senior Tyler Santucci (New Kensington, Pa.) earned All-Big South recognition last year during his first tour of duty in the conference and led Stony Brook in tackles with 79 while also breaking up a team-high five pass attempts. A high intensity player who has a nose for getting to the football, he has played in every game in his career but one and will serve as one of the Seawolves' captains in 2009.
Senior Carl Teague (St. Petersburg, Fla.) made an impact in his first season at Stony Brook after transferring to the Seawolves from Connecticut. Holding down a starting position on the outside, he finished third on the team in tackles and was also among the team leaders in tackles for loss and sacks.
A third senior in the linebacking corps is Julian Glenn (Uniondale, N.Y.). Earning a starting spot for the first time in his career in 2008, he responded by starting every game and coming up with career-highs in every category.
A pair of juniors are also in the mix at linebacker, making the position a very deep and experienced one for Stony Brook. Steven Schwicke (East Patchogue, N.Y.) was one of the starters in the 3-4 scheme employed a year ago and proved to be a solid force in the middle where he finished second on the team with 60 stops, a career-high. Chevar Rankins (Middletown, Conn.) has been hampered by injuries the past two seasons, limiting him to just five games over that time. Back to full health, he made 50 tackles as a true freshman when he started every game for the Seawolves. His return will be an added plus to the unit as it transitions to the 4-3 in 2009.
One name to watch for in the ranks of newcomers to the team in 2009 at linebacker is that of Craig Richardson (Revere, Mass.). Like Gowins and Hoffman from the SBU offense, Richardson is a product of the Bridgton Academy program in Maine. A native of Massachusetts, he has been with the Stony Brook program since January and made a strong impression during spring practice.
"Linebacker is one of our deeper positions," said head coach Chuck Priore. "Running a 3-4 in the past has given us more linebackers in the program, so it is a deeper position for us. Tyler Santucci is a three-year starter and Steven Schwicke and Julian Glenn are proven performers for us. We have Chevar Rankins coming back from knee surgery along with players like Carl Teague that give us great depth and the opportunity to keep fresh people on the field."
Stony Brook Football Preview - Running Backs
Seawolves Feature Two of the Top Backs In FCS Football
Aug. 13, 2009
Stony Brook, N.Y. - With fall football practice now in full swing for the Stony Brook University Seawolves, GoSeawolves.org will present a position by position look at the 2009 team during the course of fall camp. Today the Stony Brook running backs will be featured.
Without question the focus of opposing teams in 2009 will be on the potent Stony Brook running game. The Seawolves will feature not one, but two returning 1,000-yard rushers; giving Stony Brook the best returning running back duo in the nation at the FCS level. In fact, senior Conte Cuttino (Uniondale, N.Y.) and sophomore Edwin Gowins (Bellport, N.Y.) were the only two backs from the same team to rush for over 1,000 yards in 2008. The tandem is so impressive that it took both running back positions on the preseason All-Big South team.
Cuttino had his finest season to date in 2008, running for a career-high 1,195 yards while scoring seven touchdowns. A second team All-Big South selection, he is already Stony Brook's all-time leader in rushing and is poised to have another standout season for the Seawolves in 2009. A durable back, he started every game in 2008 and averaged nearly 20 carries per game. He possesses the speed to get around the corner and streak up the sideline as well as the strength to punch through interior holes. Last season he also added another dimension to his game, catching a career best 11 passes out of the backfield.
Gowins will again provide a contrast to Cuttino in the backfield with his power running style. His powerful running last season made it nearly impossible for opponents to bring him down for a loss - he lost just 16 yards in 140 attempts - and combined with his burst of speed thru the line resulted in a school record 1,310 yards and 11 scores. Not only did his rushing total set a school record, it led all freshmen in Division I at both the FCS and FBS levels, erning him the Freshman of the Year award from the College Sporting News.
Behind Stony Brook's impressive 1-2 combo, junior Rock Contardi (Melbourne, Fla.) has the most experience at the position on the team, with 36 carries over his first two seasons with the Seawolves. Beyond that SBU will be young, with a group of freshman on the roster providing the depth on the team.
"Running back will again be the strength of our team," observed head coach Chuck Priore. "Certainly we have a 1-2 punch with Conte Cuttino and Eddie Gowins that had a lot of success last season. Losing parts of the offensive line will hurt us a bit, but those two kids are quality players that should be recognized nationally and they will be who we build our offense around."
Tedesco and Isla Named CDS Honorable Mention Preseason FCS All-American
The senior duo return to a Pioneer team that finished 8-3 last fall.
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (May 27, 2009) - Sacred Heart senior wide receiver Steve Tedesco (Mission Viejo, CA) and senior cornerback Andre Isla (Brookhaven, NY) were named 2009 Honorable Mention Preseason FCS All-American by Consensus Draft Services. Both Tedesco and Isla are coming off All-Northeast Conference seasons in 2008.
Tedesco is coming off a junior campaign where he led the NEC in every receiving category. He finished the year with 77 catches for 891 yards and 10 touchdown catches, all conference leading marks. He averaged 7.00 catches and 81.0 yards per game, numbers that ranked him fifth and 33rd, respectively, in the nation.
Tedesco closed out his 2008 season by catching seven balls for 101 yards and a touchdown against CCSU, his fourth 100-yard receiving game on the year. The CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District receiver now owns the school records for single-season receptions (77), career catches (162), career receiving yards (1,983), and career TD catches (26). Tedesco tied the school record for catches in a game when he hauled in 12 passes for 121 yards at Duquesne last fall.
In addition to earning a spot on the All-NEC second team last year, Isla was named FCS All-New England by the New England Football Writers. Isla led a senior layden defensive backfield in 2008, turning in a career-best 50 tackles, 30 solo, while picking off a team-best four passes. Isla was third in the NEC in interceptions and third in the league in passes defended adding six pass break-ups to go with his four picks. He had a season-high nine tackles with an interception as the Pioneers beat Robert Morris, 31-28 as they posted an 8-3 record this fall. Isla started all 10 games he appeared in this fall and now has 91 tackles and five interceptions in his career.
Edwin Gowins Courtesy Stony Brook University Football
The 2009 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches was released on Tuesday afternoon with Sacred Heart tabbed to finish fourth in the nine team league while six Pioneers were named to the Preseason All-NEC team. The two-time defending NEC Champion Albany Great Danes were picked to defend their title receiving eight first place votes. This is the fourth-straight season the Great Danes have occupied the top spot heading into the season. The Monmouth Hawks were picked second with one vote while Central Connecticut State was slotted to finish third ahead of the Pioneers.
Filling out the rest of this year's poll was Robert Morris in fifth, Duquesne in sixth, new conference member Bryant in seventh, Wagner in eighth and Saint Francis (PA) in ninth. "We are looking to just continue to get better here in camp and as the season moves forward," commented head coach Paul Gorham on this morning's conference call.
"We have all our focus on that Marist game to open up and getting off to another strong starts and take it from there."
Sacred Heart was the most improved team in the NEC a year ago, coming off an 8-3 record and 4-3 league mark after going winless in conference play in 2007. SHU bolted out of the gates last fall winning six-straight and seven of their first eight games. The Pioneer offense returns nine starters heading into the season with four players earning a spot on this year's All-NEC preseason team. Leading the way is the two-time all-conference tandem of r-junior quarterback Dale Fink (Swansea, IL) and senior wide receiver Steve Tedesco (Mission Viejo, CA). Fink begins his third season as the Pioneer's signal caller after leading the SHU offensive attack to 29.1 ppg in 2008 and 26.6 ppg in 2007 at the helm. He was the NEC's most efficient passer (140.3 rating) last season, completing 67.8% (215-317) of his passes for 2,102 yards and 24 touchdowns. He will once again have his favorite target back in Tedesco who is coming off a record setting campaign in 2008. Tedesco set the conference and school single-season record for receptions with 77 catches last fall while also grabbing 10 scoring strikes.
Up front, the Pioneer offensive line kept Fink upright for the first seven games of the season last year, not yielding a quarterback sack. Four of the five offensive linemen who provided premium protection are back, including second team all-league center Justin Smith (Binghamton, NY). The SHU running attack and return game will also benefit from the return of Preseason All-NEC back Garry Coles (Southington, CT). Coles earns a spot as a kick returner after being named all-conference at the position as a freshman. He is slated to return to the SHU backfield while also returning kick-offs and punts. His 25.0 return average last season led the NEC.
On the defensive side, the Pioneers welcome back seniors and preseason all-NEC selections, defensive end Bill O'Brien (Lafayette, NY) and corner back Andre Isla (Brookhaven, NY). O'Brien made 61 tackles, 8.0 for a loss, from his lineman spot while Isla made 50 tackles and four interceptions at corner while also picking up a spot on the All-New England team.
Senior CB Andre Isla. Photo Courtesy Sacred Heart University