Spiders’ Lauletta named CAA Offensive Player of the Year

UR's Kyle Lauletta throws in Spiders 31-28 win over Towson at Robins Stadium in Richmond, Va. on October 1st, 2016.

The following comes directly from the CAA:

RICHMOND, Va. (November 21, 2017) – CAA Football announced its 2017 post-season award winners on Tuesday, headlined by Richmond senior quarterback Kyle Lauletta being selected as the league’s Offensive Player of the Year and James Madison senior defensive lineman Andrew Ankrah being chosen as the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Other major award recipients included Elon’s Curt Cignetti as CAA Coach of the Year, JMU senior wide receiver/returner John Miller as Special Teams Player of the Year, Elon freshman quarterback Davis Cheek as Offensive Rookie of the Year and Delaware freshman linebacker Colby Reeder as Defensive Rookie of the Year. James Madison senior quarterback Bryan Schor was honored with the Chuck Boone Leadership and Excellence Award.

CAA Football’s all-conference awards are voted on by the league’s 12 head coaches. CAA champion James Madison led all teams with 16 selections, including eight first-team honorees, while Richmond and Stony Brook had 11 players named to the squad and Delaware followed with 10.

Lauletta made a remarkable comeback from a serious knee injury to post a record-setting season for the Spiders. The senior completed 281-of-433 passes for 3,737 yards and 28 touchdowns and also ran for four TD’s. Lauletta ranked third in FCS in passing yards (353.9 ypg), fifth in total offense (347.9 ypg), fifth in passing TD’s and 13th in pass efficiency (153.2), all of which led the CAA. He threw for over 300 yards in eight of 11 games and his passing yardage and touchdown totals set UR single-season records. Lauletta, who is one of 25 finalists for the Walter Payton Award as the top offensive player in FCS football, became Richmond’s career passing leader and ranks fourth in CAA history with 10,465 yards.

Ankrah was a disruptive force on the James Madison defensive line. The senior defensive end led the Dukes and ranked second in the CAA with 13.5 tackles for loss and was fourth in the conference with 7.5 sacks. Ankrah recorded 45 total tackles, forced two fumbles, and recovered two fumbles, one of which he returned 23 yards for a key touchdown in a victory at Delaware. He played a key role on a JMU defense that leads the nation in several categories, including scoring defense (9.0 ppg) and total defense (228.2 ypg). Ankrah is one of 25 finalists for the Buck Buchanan Award, which honors the top defensive player in FCS football.

In his first season as head coach at Elon, Cignetti guided the Phoenix to one of the most impressive turnarounds in the nation. Picked to finish 11th in the CAA, Elon went 6-2 in conference play and won more league games than it had in the past three years combined (4). The Phoenix, who are currently ranked No. 15 nationally, posted an 8-3 overall mark and earned a berth in the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2009. Cignetti is one of 18 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award, which is given to the Coach of the Year in FCS football.

Miller averaged 11.7 yards on 18 punt returns, which led the CAA and ranked 11th in the nation. The senior had a 41-yard punt return for a touchdown in JMU’s victory over East Tennessee State. He also contributed as a receiver, making 33 catches for 355 yards and touchdown.

Cheek completed 166-of-280 passes for 2,230 yards and 14 touchdowns, and also ran for two scores. Among freshmen in FCS, he ranks third in passing yards, second in pass efficiency (137.7), fourth in passing yards per game (202.7 ypg) and fourth in passing TD’s. His 13.4 yards per completion was the best of any quarterback in the conference. Cheek threw for over 300 yards three times, had three games with three touchdown passes and led Elon to three fourth-quarter comeback wins in an 8-3 campaign. He is one of 20 finalists for the Jerry Rice Award, which is given to the FCS Freshman of the Year.

Reeder made a big impact for the Delaware defense. The freshman linebacker recorded 49 total tackles, including a team-high 8.0 tackles for loss, and made two quarterback sacks. He also picked off two passes, had a team-high two fumble recoveries and blocked a kick. Reeder played a key role for a Blue Hens’ defense that ranked 12th in FCS in scoring defense (16.8 ppg) and 14th in total defense (305.5 ypg).

Schor was the recipient of the prestigious Chuck Boone Leadership and Excellence Award, an honor that embodies the highest standards of leadership, integrity, teamwork and sportsmanship in academics and athletics. The senior quarterback once again excelled on the field, completing 192-of-280 passes for 2,257 yards and 21 touchdowns, while also rushing for 268 yards and 6 TD’s. The Dukes’ captain, who is majoring in marketing, led his team to a perfect 11-0 season and a No. 1 national ranking. The Boone Award is selected by the CAA Football athletics directors.