Accolades Roll In For Bulls Football Players
BUFFALO, NY – The honors continue to roll in for the University at Buffalo football team as two players earned post-season invites and several others earned both conference and national honors – headlined by freshman defensive end Steven Means.
Hamlin, a Jupiter, FL native, will represent the Nation team in the Texas vs. The Nation game in El Paso, TX on Saturday, February 6, 2010. Hamlin finished the season with 64 receptions for 898 yards (a career-best 14.0 yards per catch) and a pair of touchdowns. He wrapped up his career third all-time in receptions (185) and fifth in career receiving yards (2,190). The 6-1, 190-pound senior had two games where he caught 10 or more passes this year, including a career-best 12 receptions for 149 yards vs. Pittsburgh.
The Buffalo native and St. Joseph's graduate is the school's all-time leader in receptions (268), receiving yards (3,551), receiving touchdowns (28) and all-purpose yardage (5,341). He became the first player in UB history to ever have more than 100 catches in a season during the Bulls' run to the 2008 MAC Championship. Hamlin and Roosevelt's selections bring the total number to nine of former Bulls invited to play in post-season all-star games since 2002. It also marks the fourth straight year a UB player has been invited to a senior game (2008-Drew Willy; 2007-Jamey Richard and Trevor Scott; 2006-Chad Upshaw).
Headlining the honorees, as all-star teams continue to be released, is freshman Steven Means, who was honored by Phil Steele Magazine as a first-team All-Freshman team member, the first time a Bull has earned such accolades. The Grover Cleveland HS graduate finished his first season with a team-high five sacks on a defense that finished fourth in the 13-team Mid-American Conference in total defense. Means finished the year with 25 total tackles (15 solos), including a total of 6.5 tackles for loss, two quarterback hurries and a pass breakup.
He was joined on the first-team defensive line by Aldon Smith (Missouri), Scott Vallone (Rutgers) and Nick Perry (USC). Means was also named honorable mention on the national All-Freshman team announced by collegefootballnews.com.
Several other Bulls were honored on Steele's All-MAC team, including Roosevelt (first team) and Hamlin (second team). Joining Roosevelt on the first team is senior tight end Jesse Rack, who had a career year. Rack had 30 receptions for 432 yards (a 14.4 yard average) and caught seven touchdown passes. Joining Hamlin on the second team were two other native Western New Yorkers (Domonic Cook and Peter Bittner) as well as safeties Davonte Shannon and Mike Newton. Bittner, an offensive guard from Williamsville North, helped UB rank third in the MAC in total offense. Cook, a St. Joseph's graduate, had 55 tackles and a team-high 11 pass breakups as well as a fumble recovery. Shannon led the Bulls in tackles (97) and tackles for loss (8.5), while Newton was second with 85 tackles and added two fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
Three other Bulls made the fourth team, led by tailback Ike Nduka, who averaged 6.2 yards per carry and gained 598 yards in just eight games due to injury. Defensively, Anel Montanez, who led UB defensive linemen with 35 tackles, four for losses, and Justin Winters (79 tackles, 4.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss) both were tabbed.