Click Here For Sports Network Release
Somerset, NJ --
The Sports Network announced its FCS All-American teams on Monday and three Northeast Conference players were among those honored. Bryant junior wide receiver Jordan Harris (Lincoln University, PA/Avon Grove)
was named to the second team, while Robert Morris senior defensive lineman Nolan Nearhoof (Gibsonia, Pa. / Mars Area)
and Duquesne junior linebacker Dorian Bell (Monroeville, PA/Gateway)
were third team selections.
This marks the second All-American honor for Harris and gives the Bulldogs a Sports Network All-American for the second consecutive season. Jordan Brown (Glastonbury, Conn.) was a third team selection last season.
The Northeast Conference Offensive Player of the Year, Harris put together the greatest receiving season in program history in 2012. He caught 61 passes for 1,243 yards and 15 touchdowns, all of which were single-season program records. Along the way, Harris also became Bryant's all-time leader in career receptions (129), career reception yards (2,704) and career touchdown receptions (26).
Harris's highlight-reel season also put him among some of the greatest receivers in NEC history. He became the first wide receiver since Miles Austin in 2005 to record a 1,000-yard season and enters his senior year in need of just 761 receiving yards to become the all-time leader in NEC history. This season, he recorded seven 100-yard games and a pair of 200-yard performances. Harris is the only receiver in program history to record over 200 receiving yards in a game and he has done it three times.
Nearhoof claims the 14th All-America selection in RMU football history and the first since 2010. He is the third Colonial defensive linemen to take home an All-America honor, joining Matt Brunck and Ray Gensler.
Nearhoof’s burst onto the national scene should not come as a surprise as he previously was named Northeast Conference (NEC) Defensive Player of the Year in a vote by each of the league schools in late November.
Nearhoof saved his best for last as the senior set career highs in a number of key categories in 2012 while consistently causing havoc in opponents’ backfields. He posted a career-best 76 tackles in 2012, second on the team, while starting all 11 games at defensive end. However, he really made his mark by tackling opponents behind the line of scrimmage as he tallied a career-high 13 tackles for loss, a mark which included 10.5 sacks. In doing so, he became just the third Colonial to post a double-digit sack total in a single season. Nearhoof not only led the NEC in sacks per game, but he currently ranks sixth nationally in that category. Nearhoof also added 11 quarterback hurries and two pass breakups this year. He posted eight tackles, including five solo stops, and a sack against eventual NEC champion Wagner and registered 11 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss in a win over local rival Duquesne.
Nearhoof’s final season capped off an incredible career that saw him rewrite the Robert Morris and Northeast Conference record books. He finished his four years and 40 career games with 26.5 sacks, a figure that not only blew past the previous top mark at RMU, but was also good enough to move him into the top spot in the career annals of the NEC. He notched 36 career tackles for loss, a mark that ranks among the top five all-time at RMU, while posting 213 overall tackles and three fumble recoveries in his illustrious career.
This prestigious honor is the latest in a long line for Nearhoof, who has garnered a litany of awards for his combined academic and athletic achievement. He recently earned his third Academic All-America accolade and claimed the NEC’s Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year award in both the 2010 and 2011 seasons with the 2012 award yet to be announced. Furthermore, Nearhoof, who owns a 3.74 grade point average as a biology major, was recently selected as one of 15 National Football Foundation (NFF) National Scholar-Athletes and was the only one at the FCS level. As a result, he was granted an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and was a finalist for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy that recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation.
Nearhoof, who is also a three-time All-NEC First Team performer, became the first football student-athlete from any NEC school (including past football-playing members) to earn three Academic All-America honors in a career.
Nearhoof’s first All-America award makes him the ninth student-athlete in program history to claim such an honor. He was also one of just three NEC players to claim an All-America honor from The Sports Network this year.
Bell, who was named First Team All-NEC last month, led the Dukes with 92 tackles (54 solo) in eight games. His 11.5 tackles per game would have led the NEC and ranked tied for seventh nationally had he met the NCAA minimum requirement for games played (75 percent of a team's total). Bell, who missed the last two games of the season with a hand injury, also led the Dukes with 12.0 tackles for loss including a team-best 6.5 sacks. His three fumbles forced also would have tied for third in the NEC.
Bell joins current teammate Serge Kona (2011), along with Bruce Hocker (2006) and Antoine Bullock (2005) as Duquesne players who have earned FCS All-American honors.