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2002 Amherst Football Milestones


  • Finished with a 6-2 overall record - including shutout wins over Bates and Colby and a season-ending 45-35 regionally televised win over previously undefeated Williams College, denying the Ephs a perfect season for the fourth time in the history of the rivalry and snapping their 15-game winning streak.
  • Ranked seventh in the final New England Division III Football Poll.
  • 23rd in the nation with a 1.1 turnover margin.
  • 29th in the nation in scoring defense, yielding just 15.5 points per game.
  • 31st in the nation in pass efficiency defense, allowing a 92.7 quarterback rating.
  • Led the NESCAC in rushing offense (192.9 ypg), punt returns (14.1 yd. avg.), fourth down conversions (80.0 pct.) and red zone defense (allowed opponents a 55.3% success rate).
  • Second in the NESCAC in pass defense (138.6 ypg.), pass efficiency (122.7), pass efficiency defense (92.7), sacks (23), sacks allowed (7) and PAT kicking (19-for-21).
  • Placed four players on the 2002 Verizon/CoSIDA College Division Academic All-District Team - the most of any school in the region - including first-team selections Fletcher Ladd, J.P. Zito and Brendan Carolan, and second-team pick Paul Whiting.
  • Had nine players earn All-NESCAC honors, including five on defense and six first-team selections.
  • Placed six players on the ECAC Division III Northeast All-Star Team, tying Williams, Middlebury and Springfield Colleges for the most in the region.


    Senior Right Tackle Brendan Carolan (Koloa, HI)
  • Second-Team All-NESCAC.
  • First-Team Verizon/CoSIDA College Division Academic All-District.
  • Started every game and played nearly every offensive snap in four seasons at right tackle.

  • Senior Free Safety Jeremy Carroll (Winchester, MA)
  • First-Team All-NESCAC.
  • First-Team ECAC Division III Northeast All-Star.
  • Led the NESCAC and finished seventh in the nation with seven interceptions (0.9 per gm.) - tying Brian Daoust ’01 for the Amherst single-season record and falling just two shy of the conference mark.
  • Two-time conference defensive player of the week, first with a nine-tackle, two-interception performance in a 17-10 win at Middlebury, and again after torching Little Three rival Wesleyan for a career-high three interceptions and a 33-yard touchdown return.

  • Senior Co-Captain Defensive Tackle Pat Hayes (E. Bridgewater, MA)
  • First-Team All-NESCAC.
  • First-Team ECAC Division III Northeast All-Star.
  • Also an All-NESCAC and All-New England hurdler who captains Amherst’s indoor and outdoor track teams.

  • Senior Place-Kicker Mike Proman (Minneapolis, MN)
  • One of just 11 players from NCAA Divisions I-AA, II, III and the NAIA named to the 11th Annual American Football Coaches Association Good Works team, honoring college football players across the country for their dedication and commitment to community service. Proman was the only player chosen from the NESCAC and the first-ever recipient from Amherst.

  • Senior Co-Captain Fullback Jeff Ryan (Belmont, MA)
  • Second-Team All-NESCAC.
  • NESCAC Fall All-Academic.
  • Was the primary lead blocker in the NESCAC's top-rated rushing offense and blazed the trail for junior tailback Fletcher Ladd's prolific 1,148-yard rushing output.
  • Rushed 10 times for 28 yards and a touchdown, mostly in short-yardage situations, and caught 12 passes for 94 yards.
  • Ryan was the Jeffs' third leading receiver with 13 catches for 124 yards as a junior, was voted Amherst's Co-Offensive Back of the Year as a sophomore and earned team Rookie of the Year honors as a freshman.

  • Senior Left Tackle Rob Vernicek (Montville, NJ)
  • A three-time All-NESCAC selection and a first-team pick in 2002.
  • First-Team ECAC Division III Northeast All-Star.
  • One of 28 players named to the 2002 All-New England Division II/III All-Star Team, as selected by the New England Football Writers.

  • Senior Wide Receiver J.P. Zito (Coral Gables, FL)
  • Second-Team All-NESCAC.
  • First-Team Verizon/CoSIDA College Division Academic All-District.
  • NESCAC Fall All-Academic.
  • Led Amherst in catches (34), receiving yards (609) and touchdowns (seven).
  • Finished second in the NESCAC in touchdown catches (seven), fourth in receiving yards (76.1 ypg) and sixth in receptions (4.25 rpg).
  • 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.
  • In Week 3, a 17-10 win at Middlebury, exploded with eight 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.
  • Earned NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week honors after torching visiting archrival Williams for seven catches, 179 receiving yards and touchdown grabs of 33, 3 and 69 yards.

  • Junior Tailback Fletcher Ladd (Amherst, NH)
  • First-Team All NESCAC.
  • First-Team Verizon/CoSIDA College Division Academic All-District.
  • Second-Team ECAC Division III Northeast All-Star.
  • Second in the conference and 10th in the nation with 1,148 rushing yards on 236 carries (143.5 ypg).
  • Fourth in the NESCAC in all-purpose yards (145.8 ypg) and eighth in total offense (143.5 ypg).
  • Fell just 72 yards shy of the Amherst single-season record for rushing and just 145 yards shy of the NESCAC single-season mark.
  • Earned NESCAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors with a career-high 208 rushing yards in a 14-0 win over Colby College.
  • Has rushed for at least 100 yards in eight of his last 11 games.
  • Was also 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).

  • Junior Outside Linebacker Dan McNamara (Norwell, MA)
  • 16th in the nation in forced fumbles (0.38 per gm.).

  • Junior Cornerback Paul Whiting (Mission Viejo, CA)
  • Second-Team Verizon/CoSIDA College Division Academic All-District for the second consecutive season.

  • Sophomore Place-Kicker David Bodner (Atlantic Beach, NY)
  • First-Team All-NESCAC.
  • Second-Team ECAC Division III Northeast All-Star.
  • Led the conference and broke a league and school record with eight field goals, including an overtime game-winner in a dramatic 27-24 come-from-behind victory over visiting Tufts.
  • Was also a near-perfect 19-for-20 on extra point attempts and finished the season with a team-high 43 points.
  • Tied for 14th in the nation in field goals per game (1.0).

  • Sophomore Linebacker Mike Salvatore (Greenwich, CT)
  • Earned NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week, ECAC Player of the Week and Don Hansen's Weekly Football Gazette National Quad-Defensive Player of the Week honors after torching Bowdoin for a career- and game-high 17 tackles, a sack and an interception in his first career start and the first collegiate game in which he'd played in more than one or two downs.
  • His 17 tackles at Bowdoin were the most in a game by an Amherst player since former First-Team All-NESCAC and All-ECAC linebacker Dan Lalli '02 registered 18 takedowns in a 28-20 win over Trinity College on November 3, 2001.

  • Sophomore Return Specialist/Wide Receiver Jay Wagstaff (Tewksbury, MA)
  • First-Team All-NESCAC.
  • Second-Team ECAC Division III Northeast All-Star.
  • Topped the conference and finished 18th in the nation in punt return average (14.1 yards per return), with a 68-yard touchdown return in a 42-20 win at Bowdoin to his credit.
  • Led the Jeffs with 294 kick return yards and caught 19 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns as a wide receiver.

  • First-Year Tailback Ngai Otieno (Gloucester, MA)
  • Earned NESCAC Rookie of the Week honors after rushing for 97 yards and two touchdowns in Amherst’s season-ending 45-35 win over Williams.

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