(GREENVILLE, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team had 19 members earn All-Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) distinction, announced by the conference office following voting by the league coaches on Tuesday. The Tartans landed six on the first team, four on the second team while eight were tabbed honorable mention and one named to the sportsmanship team.
Of the six first team members honored, two were selected from each the offense, defense and special teams. Senior wide receiver John Prather (Olney, Md./Our Lady Of Good Counsel) was joined by classmate and offensive lineman Tyler Eckler (Chelsea, Mich.) on offense, senior safety Drew Fitzmorris (Omaha, Neb./Westside) and senior inside linebacker Stanley Bikulege (Greer, S.C./Saint Joseph's Catholic) on defense and senior punter Tyler Kohman (Pataskala, Ohio/Columbus Academy) along with sophomore returner Willie Richter (Leander, Texas/Cedar Park) on special teams.
Prather was second in the PAC with 994 yards and 11 receiving touchdowns while ranking third with 59 receptions. The senior tied the school single-game reception record with 10 in the Tartans' win at Bethany. His 11 touchdown receptions are tied for the most in a single-season for a Tartan. Throughout this season, Prather became the school's all-time receiving leader (3,039), receptions leader (190) and touchdown receptions leader (25).
Eckler has played a key part in blocking for one of the nation's top rushers the past three seasons. The senior has appeared in 31 contests during that span and has started every game the past two seasons. Eckler fronted an offensive line that helped the Tartans reach the 510-yard mark in the Tartans' win over the University of Rochester while also compiling 496 yards against nationally ranked Case Western Reserve University.
Fitzmorris led the Tartans and was second in the PAC with 95 tackles, averaging 9.5 tackles per game. He tied the school single-game record with 22 tackles against Geneva College and then recorded a career-best 13 solo tackles against Westminster College. Fitzmorris ranks fourth on the school's all-time tackle list with 240.
Bikulege, who has missed time this season due to injury, is sixth on the team with 53 tackles through seven games played. In the Tartans season opener at Washington University in St. Louis, Bikulege recorded his second career interception and ran it back for his first career touchdown. The senior has 256 career tackles and ranks third on the school's all-time list.
Kohman averages 46.1 yards per punt, which ranks second nationally and is best in the PAC. The senior has 15 punts of 50 yards or more including a career-best 62-yarder. Kohman has placed 19 of his 40 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
Richter has a combined 696 return yards and ranks 18th nationally and first in the conference. The sophomore averages 13.6 yards per punt return which ranks second in the conference and 14th nationally. Richter returned a punt 86 yards for a touchdown in the Tartans' win over Rochester, as it was the second longest punt return for a touchdown in program history.
Of the four second team selections for the Tartans, three were on the offensive side of the ball including senior running back Sam Benger (Hingham, Mass.), junior H-back Karl-Mark Kumm (Brick, N.J./Brick Township) and sophomore offensive lineman Joe Levy (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North) while senior outside linebacker Kyle Brittain (Largo, Fla./Clearwater Central Catholic) was honored on defense.
Benger, who has been nagged by injuries all season, has rushed for 983 yards on 169 carries for an average of 5.8 yards per carry, which ranks fourth in the PAC. Benger, the school's all-time rushing leader with 5,316 yards, will look to become the first Tartan to rush for a 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Asa S. Bushnell Bowl on Saturday against Muhlenberg College. Benger ranks third on three PAC's all-time lists; rushing yards, carries (894) and rushing touchdowns (59). His 59 rushing scores is tied for the most for a Tartan.
Levy and Kumm joined Eckler in playing a huge part in blocking for Benger. Levy has nine career starts and has appeared in 17 games over the last two seasons. Kumm has also record 13 receptions this season for 193 yards and four touchdowns. Against Case Western Reserve, the junior recorded a career-best six catches.
Brittain is second on the team with 71 tackles and eight passes defended. He also ranks third on the team with 5.0 tackles for a loss of nine yards. The senior ranks sixth on the school's all-time tackle list with 226. Brittain recorded a career-best 19 tackles, 10 solo, against Case Western Reserve. He also ranks second on the team with two interceptions.
The Tartans Honorable Mention Honorees:
The Tartans Sportsmanship Honoree:
Senior quarterback Bryan Jangro