The season has finally concluded! When it was all said and done, William & Mary finished with a below average 5-6 record, but managed to squeek out a huge victory over arch-rival Richmond to win the Capital Cup in the last game of the season. The CAA recently announced its All-CAA selections, and despite the below average season, your Green and Gold had 8 players earn All-League honors. These players 100% earned their keep this year and more than deserved these awards. For the seniors, it was a great way to end their collegiate careers. For the rest, a bright future shines for the W&M Tribe!
- RT Jerry Ugokwe: Jerry has been a stalwart on the offensive line for the Tribe since his freshman season, putting in time at both the Left Tackle and Right Tackle positions during his career. What is more impressive, Jerry only started playing football his junior year of high school. Wow. Many scouts are impressed with his raw ability and size, having come to Williamsburg this season to check him out. There have been rumors that he might attend this year’s Senior Bowl! Here’s to hoping that Jerry gets picked up by an NFL team this offseason!
- RB Kendell Anderson [217 attempts, 1077 yards, 5.0 yards per carry, 9 TDs]: One of the senior captains of this year’s team, Anderson has led the Tribe offense the last two years. Despite beginning the year on injured reserve, Kendell came back and shined. In perhaps the best game of his entire career, Anderson turned in a 42 carry, 219 yards, and 2 touchdown performance against Richmond in his last-ever game as a member of the Tribe. He’s one we won’t soon forget.
- TE Andrew Caskin [30 receptions, 269 yards, 9.0 yards per catch, 3 TDs]: A strong leader of this year’s team, and a likely senior Captain on next year’s, Caskin again finished the season strong. Like Kendell Anderson, Caskin turned in his best performance of the year against Richmond in the last game of the season, finishing with 2 touchdowns through the air. Though like Dedmon, Caskin will also need to build chemistry with the Tribe’s next quarterback. Any way you look at it, with both Dedmon and Caskin lining up for the Green and Gold next season, the Tribe offense will have plenty of weapons.
- WR DeVonte Dedmon [35 receptions, 533 yards, 15.2 yards per catch, 5 TDs]: In his junior season, Dedmon began the year strong. He truly is a triple threat: he can catch the ball, return the ball, and even run the ball in an end-around or handoff. The fastest player on next year’s team, Dedmon will look to finish the 2017 season as a First-Team CAA selection. Following senior QB Steve Cluley’s graduation, Dedmon will have to quickly develop chemistry with the Tribe’s next quarterback — whoever that may be.
- CB Trey Reed [56 tackles. 3.5 TFL, 2 INT, 10 Break-Ups, 12 Passes Defensed]: Another senior Captain on this year’s team, Trey Reed finished the year just as he began it, as the undisputed #1 shutdown corner for the William & Mary Tribe. Standing at just 5’8″, Reed has always been one of the fastest players on the field. Despite his shorter stature, he finished the year with 12 passes defended and 2 interceptions–good enough for 2nd Team All-CAA in one of the nation’s best FCS conferences. It’ll be tough losing him this offseason.
- DT Isaiah Stephens [37 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 QBH]: Checking in at 6’2″ 300 pounds, Isaiah Stephens is a behemoth in the middle of the defensive line. Although the Tribe’s run defense was worse than expected, Stephens is a great piece to build around this offseason. Going into his senior year in 2017, Stephens will look to improve upon this 3rd team selection next year.
- LT Chris Durant: Durant played in every game this season for the Tribe, and repeats as a third team All-CAA selection for the Tribe. Though unlike fellow lineman Jerry Ugokwe, is only a junior this year, and will return as a senior next year. The future of the line looks bright with Durant protecting the QB in 2017.
- LB Stephen Lubnow [79 tackles (led team), 1 TFL, 1 INT, 3 QBH]: Senior linebacker Stephen Lubnow really developed during his senior season, stepping up to replace stud Tribe LBs Luke Rhodes and Zach Fetters who were lost the year before to graduation. And he really did shine–finishing with 79 tackles, which was good enough to lead this year’s team. W&M will again have to replace this position in the offseason after a stellar season by Lubnow.
Despite the Tribe missing this year’s FCS Playoffs, several players turned in great individual seasons. Again, for the seniors, this is a great way to end their careers. For the returning players, they will return to Williamsburg with a fire to make next year’s team better than this year’s. And we can’t wait. See you in 2017. LET’S GO TRIBE!!!