Kuntz, who earned NEC Defensive Player of the Year honors for a second time, is the first three-time First Team All-NEC player in school history.
Nov. 23, 2016
NEC Release | Complete NEC Awards List
PITTSBURGH - Thirteen members of the 2016 Northeast Conference co-Champion Dukes were named to the league's all-conference team it was announced today.
Senior linebacker Christian Kuntz and freshman running back A.J. Hines took NEC top honors as Defensive Player of the Year and Offensive Rookie of the Year respectively. It is the second consecutive Defensive POY award for Kuntz.
Kuntz, who is on the STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award Watch List (top defensive player in the FCS), finished his career as the conference's all-time leading sack leader with 30.5. The Pittsburgh native led the NEC in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (24.0) this season.
Hines set an NEC record by being named Rookie of the Week 10 times on his way to leading the conference in rushing at 117.4 yards per game. Hines finished the FCS regular season ranked eighth nationally in rushing yards per game - first among freshmen. Hines, who is on the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award Watch List (top freshman in the FCS), posted seven 100-yard games this season.
Kuntz and Hines were also named First Team All-NEC along with teammates Dillon Buechel (QB), Wayne Capers Jr. (WR), Blair Roberts (WR), Ben Huss (OL) and Nathan Stone (LB). Kuntz is the first three-time first team All-NEC player in Dukes history. It was the second first team mention for Huss and Stone who are both juniors.
Buechel, the NEC career passing yardage leader (10,320), was a second team pick last season along with Capers. Buechel, who holds DU career records for passing yards, completions and attempts, is on the FCS STATS Walter Payton Award Watch List (top offensive player in the FCS).
The Dukes placed six more on the NEC Second Team in offensive linemen Larson Graham and Matt Fitzpatrick, along with defensive linemen Jake Radziukinas and Andy Struttmann, defensive back Abner Roberts and punter Austin Crimmins.
It is the second-straight second team honor for both Graham and Crimmins.
Hines, Huss, Stone, Fitzpatrick, Struttmann and Abner Roberts are all underclassmen.
Duquesne, along with Gardner-Webb, Jacksonville State and Sam Houston State, is one of just four FCS schools with players on the Buchanan (Kuntz top defensive), Payton (Buechel top offensive) and Rice Award (Hines top freshman) Watch Lists.
DUQUESNE NEC HONORS THIS SEASON
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
FIRST TEAM ALL-NEC
Dillon Buechel, Senior - QB
A.J. Hines, Freshman - RB
Wayne Capers Jr., Senior - WR
Blair Roberts, Grad Student - WR
Ben Huss, Junior - OL
Christian Kuntz, Senior - LB
Nathan Stone, Junior - LB
SECOND TEAM ALL-NEC
Larson Graham, Senior - OL
Matt Fitzpatrick, Sophomore - OL
Jake Radziukinas, Senior - DL
Andy Struttmann, Junior - DL
Abner Roberts, Sophomore - DB
Austin Crimmins, Senior - P
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK (3)
Wayne Capers Jr., WR (Oct. 3)
Blair Roberts, WR (Oct. 31)
Blair Roberts, WE (co- Nov. 7)
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK (2)
Christian Kuntz, LB (Sept. 19)
Christian Kuntz, LB (Nov. 14)
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK (2)
Austin Crimmins, PK (Sept. 11)
Xavier Nelson, KR (Nov. 21)
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK (10)
A.J. Hines, RB (Sept. 12)
A.J. Hines, RB (Sept. 19)
A.J. Hines, RB (Sept. 26)
A.J. Hines, RB (Oct. 3)
A.J. Hines, RB (Oct. 17)
A.J. Hines, RB (Oct. 24)
A.J. Hines, RB (Oct. 31)
A.J. Hines, RB (Nov. 7)
A.J. Hines, RB (Nov. 14)
A.J. Hines, RB (Nov. 21)