Senior Brent Harstad Earned 2nd Team Honors
Dec. 5, 2012
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Florida Atlantic University's football team had five players named to the 2012 All-Sun Belt Conference football team, as voted upon by the SBC coaches and selected media. The announcement was made Wednesday morning by the league office.
The Owls entered 2012 under the direction of first-year head coach Carl Pelini and were called up to implement a new offense, a new defense and put more time into special teams than ever before. As the systems became more familiar, the team showed drastic improvements and several players rose to the top. Five of which were honored Wednesday. Four of the five will return in 2013.
The only senior to garner SBC honors was safety Brent Harstad who earned second team honors as a defensive back. Harstad took to the new coach, new defensive coordinator, his third since coming to FAU, and adapted to the new scheme by becoming the team leader in total tackles (103), holding a top-five spot among league tackle leaders and a top-60 national rank among all tacklers. He led all SBC defensive backs in total tackles and was the only player among the league's top-five tacklers that is not a linebacker. Harstad recorded his first two-double digit tackle games of the year against Georgia (12) and Alabama (10). He tallied four games with 10+ tackles on the year with his career high set at South Alabama (15) and met the following week versus Troy. His lone sack of the season was against a then No. 1 Alabama for a loss of 16 yards. He forced one of his two forced fumbles on the year versus Alabama. Harstad recorded three quarterback hurries on the year and started in every game in 2012. He twice served as the team captain and earned the team's defensive game ball once.
Dorvilus was joined by sophomore wide receiver William Dukes, who played in every 2012 game. Dukes was a wire-to-wire leader among FAU's 13 receivers. His breakout game was the second game of the season and the SBC opener, versus Middle Tennessee. Dukes had six receptions for 60 yards. At Georgia, a top-five team, Dukes tallied 98 yards on five receptions. He flirted with the 100-yard plateau at ULM with 96 yards and broke the barrier the following game at USA with five receptions for 119 yards, grabbed his first of 50+ yarder and his first score. The following two games he recorded 100+ yards. He caught nine passes, did not have a dropped ball, in FAU's victory over WKU. In the last FAU vs. FIU, as SBC members, Dukes had six receptions for 116 yards. His final game of 2012, the lanky receiver caught a 75-yard touchdown reception, the sixth longest in school history. He tallied 204 yards, on nine catches, versus Lafayette and scored twice to earn CollegeFootballPerformance.com national wide receiver of the week honors. He consistently was listed among the league's top-10 in both receptions per game and receiving yards per game. He is also listed among the national's top-100 receivers in yards per game. While just sophomore, he is closing in on the program's all-time top-10 list. Season high nine receptions twice, season high 204 yards versus UL and his longest reception was the 75-yarder versus UL. Dukes averaged 100.2 yards in Sun Belt games and 15.4 yards per catch versus SBC opponents. Recorded a catch in all but the Alabama game, a game he saw limited action due to an injury in the previous game.
Daniel McKinney, a newcomer to the FAU program, brought leadership and experience to the receiving corps which was transitioning to a new offense. The junior played in every game and drew seven starts, giving way only when the Owls went to a two-tight end set. He recorded his first multiple reception game, in FAU's conference season opener versus Middle Tennessee, with five receptions for 75 yards. He put together back-to-back 60+ yard games, the first at USA overtime contest, the second in FAU's win over Troy. The junior recorded for catches in FAU's victory over WKU and two were for scores. McKinney recorded a career high seven receptions and 90 yards versus FIU. McKinney is second on the Owls in SBC games with 56.8 yards per game and 40 league receptions.
Sophomore Andrae Kirk appeared in every 2012 game, with seven starts. Registered four tackles (0.5 for loss) in win over Wagner. Had seven tackles against both SEC opponents (Georgia and Alabama) and forced a fumble against Bulldogs. He tallied five tackles, with one for a loss of two yards against North Texas. Kirk also had five tackles and a quarterback hurry against South Alabama. Kirk was credited with seven tackles (0.5 for loss) versus Troy. In his game at Navy, he had a season-high five solo tackles, nine total, a pass breakup and a key fumble recovery. He had three tackles and a pass breakup in Shula Bowl game vs. FIU. His final game of 2012 was his best to date, matching his season high in solo tackles and adding six assist for a career and game high 11 total tackles, two were for a loss. He was also credited with two hurries and a broken pass.