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Fletcher Ladd '04
With 1,148 rushing yards and outstanding credentials in the classroom, sophomore tailback Fletcher Ladd is a leading candidate for Academic All-America

Jeffs Dominate Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-District Team

November 14, 2002

AMHERST, MA Amherst College placed four players on the 2002 Verizon/CoSIDA College Division Academic All-District Football Team on Thursday the most of any school in the region including first-team selections Fletcher Ladd (Amherst, NH), J.P. Zito (Coral Gables, FL) and Brendan Carolan (Kiloa, HI), who now move on to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration. Amherst junior defensive back Paul Whiting (Mission Viejo, CA) was a Second-Team Academic All-District selection for the second consecutive season.

A junior tailback, Ladd finished second in the NESCAC with 1,148 rushing yards on 236 carries, and ninth in the nation in rushing at 143.5 yards per game. He was also fourth in the conference in all-purpose yards (145.8 ypg) and eighth in total offense (143.5 ypg), and fell just 72 yards shy of the single-season school record for rushing and just 145 yards shy of the NESCAC single-season record. Ladd earned NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week honors with a career-high 208 rushing yards in a 14-0 win over Colby College and has rushed for at least 100 yards in eight of his last 11 games. He was also voted Second-Team All-NESCAC and Amherst's Co-Offensive Back of the Year as a sophomore, finishing second in the conference in rushing touchdowns (seven) and seventh in rushing average (79.8 ypg).

Zito, a senior wide receiver, led Amherst in catches (34), receiving yards (609) and touchdowns (7), while finishing second in the NESCAC in touchdown catches (7), fourth in receiving yards (76.1 ypg) and sixth in receptions (4.25 rpg). He tallied four catches for 70 yards in Amherst's 19-0 season-opening win over Bates, caught five passes for 83 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 42-20 win at Bowdoin and, in Week 3, a 17-10 win at Middlebury, exploded with eight more catches for 105 yards, including a 50-yard scoring strike, topped only by a then career-long 67-yard touchdown grab the following week against Colby. He earned NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week honors after torching visiting arch-rival Williams College for seven catches, 179 receiving yards and touchdown grabs of 33, three and 69 yards in a dramatic and improbable 45-35 win over the previously undefeated Ephs. Zito was Amherst's fourth-leading receiver as a junior with six catches for 89 yards.

Another senior, Carolan started every game and played nearly every offensive snap in four seasons at right tackle. Thanks in large part to his prowess on the offensive line, Amherst led the NESCAC in rushing at 192.9 yards per game and allowed just seven sacks in 2002. Carolan also helped the Jeffs average 204.4 yards rushing as a junior despite a wealth of injuries in the offensive backfield.

Whiting finished eighth on the team with 39 tackles, including 2.0 for loss and a team third-best 27 unassisted. He snagged two interceptions as part of a defense that has allowed just five touchdown passes since 2000, after finishing with 31 tackles (26 solo) as a junior despite missing two games due to injury. Also of note, Whiting started all 34 games in centerfield for the baseball team last spring and runs indoor track in the winter.