PHILADELPHIA – 13 members of the University of Pennsylvania sprint football team were awarded All-Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL) honors on Tuesday, with junior quarterback Mike McCurdy being named Co-MVP of the league.
McCurdy is the first Quaker to receive the award since Mike Bagnoli in 2010 and the seventh member of the Red and Blue overall.
Just about every offensive category McCurdy qualified for in the CSFL had him right near the top in 2015. The junior led the league in passing yards per game (216.1), total offense (231.4 ypg), and passing touchdowns (13). Added to this were a league-high seven rushing touchdowns, and his passing efficiency of 128.2 was third best in the conference.
McCurdy finished 2015 with 1,513 passing yards – a new career high and the third-most passing yards in a single season in school history. Through three seasons, McCurdy has amassed 4,073 passing yards – second-most in program history and just 350 away from tying Todd Busler (2008-11) who finished his Penn career with 4,423.
Penn also had seven players named first team All-CSFL including McCurdy, the most for the program in a single season since 2009.
McCurdy’s favorite target, wide receiver Henry Mason, joined the quarterback on the first team after a standout senior campaign. Mason finished second in the league with nine touchdowns and 89.6 receiving yard- per-game. His six receptions-per-game were a CSFL-best, and his 627 yards accounted for over 40 percent of the receiving yards the Quakers logged on the season.Mason also finished 2015 with 627 receiving yards – second-most in a single season in program history behind Whit Shaw’s 886 yards in 2009. He will graduate with1,003 receiving yards for his career – making him just the third receiver in school history to surpass the 1,000-yard mark.
Penn’s aerial game was not the only aspect of its offense that has gotten postseason attention, as freshman running back Max Jones capped off his rookie campaign with first-team All-CSFL honors. Jones’ 77.0 yards-per-game on the ground were fourth highest in the league, and he tied for fifth in touchdowns with six — four on the ground, two through the air.
Neither the pass nor run game would have seen much success for the Quakers had it not been for the performance of the offensive line. For his efforts, senior offensive lineman Donnie Kneisel also was named first-team All-CSFL in his final year with Penn.
On the defensive side of the ball, freshman linebacker James Juliano’s first year with the Red and Blue saw him earn first-team All-CSFL honors. Juliano’s 58 tackles and nine tackles for loss led the team, and he added two interceptions and a fumble recovery. He finished fourth in the CSFL in tackles-per-game (8.3) and seventh in tackles for loss (1.42/gm).
Senior Stu Helgeson concluded his tenure at Penn by being named first-team All-CSFL as well. The defensive back was third on the team with 40 tackles on top of two interceptions and another two fumble recoveries.
The final first teamer for the Quakers was senior linebacker Derek Shnider, who logged 24 tackles on the year. He added another 4.5 tackles for loss to that, with two forced fumbles and a sack.
Three players also were named second-team All-CSFL. Linebacker Robert Diorio was a standout for the Quakers, recording 17 tackles alongside a forced fumble and team-high three interceptions. Sam Smallzman, a freshman linebacker, led the team with seven sacks (third-best in the CSFL) while also adding 38 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. Sophomore defensive end Marcus Jones led the league with four fumble recoveries and his 5.5 sacks were fifth in the CSFL.
Receiving All-CSFL honorable mention recognition were junior defensive back Chris Colavita, who logged 28 tackles, two interceptions, and six tackles for loss on the year; sophomore linebacker Quinn Karam, who contributed 36 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and three sacks to the 2015 campaign; and sophomore linebacker Hunter Heflin who was fifth on the team with 37 tackles alongside six tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.
The Quakers finished the 2015 season with a 5-2 record, second only to undefeated Army West Point in the CSFL standings. The team will honor these All-CSFL awardees, among others, on Dec. 5 during their postseason banquet in Houston Hall.