Dec. 13, 2012
BOCA RATON, FL - Florida Atlantic University's football team continues to receive post-season recognition following the 2012 campaign, the first under the direction of Head Coach Carl Pelini. Phil Steele's Magazine, one of the nation's leading college football magazines, has announced its conference-by-conference teams. The Owls placed five members among the chosen 2012 teams. For complete coverage, visit www.philsteele.com.
Sophomore wide receiver William Dukes and tight end Nexon Dorvilus were named second team offense, while senior safety Brent Harstad earned second team defense. Linebackers David Hinds, a senior, and Andrae Kirk, a sophomore, were named third team.
William Dukes, who earned second team All-Sun Belt honors earlier this week and was named FAU football's Offensive MVP at the last weekend's banquet, played in every 2012 game and was a wire-to-wire leader among FAU's 13 receivers. His breakout game was the second game of the season and the Sun Belt Conference opener versus Middle Tennessee State University. Dukes, a sophomore, 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 the University of Louisiana-Monroe with 96 yards and broke the barrier the following game at the University of South Alabama with five receptions for 119 yards, grabbing his first of 50+ yarder and his first score. The following two games, he recorded 100+ yards. He caught nine passes and did not have a dropped ball in FAU's victory over Western Kentucky University. In the last FAU vs. FIU game as Sun Belt Conference members, Dukes had six receptions for 116 yards. In 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 the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and scored twice to earn CollegeFootballPerformance.com's national wide receiver of the week honors.
Dukes 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 a sophomore, he is closing in on the program's all-time top-10 list with a season-high nine receptions twice, season-high 204 yards versus ULL and with his longest reception with a 75-yarder versus ULL. Dukes averaged 100.2 yards in SBC games and 15.4 yards per catch versus SBC opponents. Dukes also recorded a catch in all but the Alabama game, a game he saw limited action due to an injury in the previous game.
Dorvilus, also a second team All-Sun Belt member and recipient of the squad's Student Athlete of the Year award after posting a cumulative 3.1 G.P.A., used his size and intelligence to sustain a starting spot among a talent-rich corps of FAU tight ends who were asked to use a different skill set as the Owls moved from a pro-style to a spread offense where more pass and run protection was needed. Dorvilus' strong in-game adjustments allowed him to serve as an experienced leader on the field. Due to the depth he was often apart of a two tight-end set. Dorvilus started 10 of the team's 12 games. He led FAU's 13 receivers with five touch downs and was third with 301 yards. Dorvilus has had multiple catches in all but three games in 2012. He recorded a career-high six receptions in FAU's victory over Troy, including two scores, the second a game-winning touchdown. He tallied a career-high 78 yards in the same game as well as a career-long 38-yard reception. Dorvilus leads all FAU receivers with four SBC touchdown catches, is third in league games only with 25.1 yards per game, third with 10.0 yards per catch and third in SBC catches with 19.
Defensively, Brent Harstad, who earned the team's Defensive MVP honor and second team SBC honors as a defensive back, 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 USA (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.
Andrae Kirk, who was named to the honorable mention All-Sun Belt team, fought for his playing time and earned the position. He appeared in every 2012 game with seven starts. Kirk also registered four tackles (0.5 for loss) in win over Wagner University, 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 the University of North Texas. Kirk also had five tackles and a quarterback hurry against USA. Kirk was credited with seven tackles (0.5 for loss) versus Troy. In his game at the United States Naval Academy, 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 against FIU in the Shula Bowl. 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.
David Hinds rounded out the FAU members on Phil Steele's list. Hinds led the Owls in tackles in 2011, and was the team's second leading tackler in 2012 with 77. He served as a game captain five times, the most of any defensive player. He recorded four games of double-digit tackles, including 10 (one for loss) in the season-opening win against Wagner. The senior has been even better in conference play, beginning with the SBC opener at MTSU, where he had 11 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. In conference home opener vs. UNT, he tallied 11 tackles (two for loss), and a quarterback hurry. Arguably, Hinds had his best game of the season against USA when he had 11 tackles, one sack and a pass breakup. Playing rival FIU in the final Shula Bowl in the SBC, he was named FAU Defensive Player of the Week. Despite having just two tackles, the energy he played with gave him a tackle for a loss of seven yards, recovering a fumble and a quarterback hurry.