NEW BRITAIN – Seven CCSU Blue Devil football players were hand-picked for all-Northeast Conference honors, the league announced Wednesday.
Three CCSU standouts earned first-team recognition with Kelvin Apari, Tyshaun James and JJ Colimon getting recognition.
Apari, a Harvard transfer, racked up 49 tackles and was second in the NEC with 5.5 sacks and 12 stops for a loss. He had two forced fumbles, and was heralded as one of the best defensive linemen in the league by head coach Ryan McCarthy all season despite missing limited time. He had over 10 tackles in a game twice, with a second-high of 14 against Columbia.
Colimon anchored the CCSU offensive line that helped lead the country in time of possession at 34:24 per game. Central averaged 329.5 yards per game with him on the offensive line and helped the third-ranked NEC passing offense rack up 198.4 yards per game through the air.
James finished his senior season as CCSU's all-time leader in receiving touchdowns at 18, and is receiving his second all-NEC first-team recognition. He had 45 catches for 674 yards this fall and had 67 yards rushing for a score on 22 carries. James was among the top of the leaderboard in most receiving categories in the NEC, placing fourth in receptions per game (4.09), fifth in receiving yards per game (59) and seventh in all-purpose yards per game (65.09). He also had a league-high 169 yards on seven catches against Duquesne on Nov. 13.
Along with the first-team trio, four players were tabbed for second-team. Tre Jones, Jahlil Brown, Chizi Umunakwe and Tyler Boatwright were selected.
Jones was a first-team selection in 2019 and missed time this season due to injury. He finished with 34 tackles, five for a loss, and 2.5 sacks.
Brown was a big part of the defensive backfield for CCSU, leading the team in tackles with 59 while also tallying three pass breakups.
Umunakwe was second on the team in tackles with 50, playing as the team's linebacker. He had six stops for a loss and three sacks.
Boatwright was also a defensive cog in the Blue Devils' machine, playing in eight games and recording 26 tackles. He also had an interception and a team-high eight pass breakups.