RICHMOND, Ky. – Five Eastern Kentucky University football players were named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) watch list this summer – punter Jordan Berry, linebacker Anthony Brown, running back Matt Denham, tight end Matt Lengel and quarterback T.J. Pryor.
Berry set a program single-season record for punting average as a freshman in 2010 (42.9 yards per punt). Last season, the native of Essendon, Australia earned first team All-OVC accolades after averaging 41 yards per punt. He booted 15 punts of at least 50 yards including a season-best 69-yard punt against James Madison in the NCAA FCS playoffs.
Brown is making the move from defensive end to outside linebacker this fall. The junior has recorded 10 sacks in his two years on the squad. The native of Cincinnati, Ohio led the team in tackles for loss (10.5) and quarterback hurries (13) last year on the way to earning first team All-OVC honors.
Denham burst onto the scene as a junior and rushed for 1,570 yards, which was the highest total by a Colonel since 1991. The native of Rineyville, Ky., averaged 184.5 yards rushing per game in his eight starts in 2011. Denham was named a 2011 Associated Press third team All-American.
Lengel has started 19 games at tight end over the previous two years. The 6-7 junior from Mechanicsburg, Pa., finished tied for third on the team with 14 receptions last fall, including a 55-yard touchdown catch against Chattanooga.
Pryor, a native of Louisville, Ky., enters the 2012 season needing 622 yards to become EKU’s all-time leading passer. The 2009 OVC Freshman of the Year has played in 33 games over the last three years with 29 starts. Last year, Pryor tallied 18 touchdown passes to just eight interceptions while guiding the Colonels to a berth in the NCAA FCS playoffs.
The CFPA watch lists include the following categories: quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, defensive line, linebacker, defensive back, placekicker, punter, all-purpose/kick-off returner and punt returner.
The purpose of the CFPA is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.
As prominent scholars from a wide variety of disciplines note, CFPA eliminates the politics and biases that vitiate balloting-based awards. Furthermore, CFPA is the only awards organization to receive praise from both Republican and Democratic White House officials for promoting objectivity and fairness in college football.
EKU kicks off the 2012 schedule at Purdue on Sept. 1. The season opener will be televised by the Big Ten Network beginning at 3:30 p.m. Fans can reserve 2012 season tickets by contacting the EKU athletics ticket office at 859-622-2122.