RICHMOND, Va. – Junior fullback Emmanuel Holder, senior defensive end Ryan Delaire, junior safety Christian Carpenter and senior cornerback Tye Smith all earned preseason All-Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) honors, and the Tigers as a team were picked to finish fifth in the league coaches’ poll, conference officials announced today.
Villanova’s John Robertson and William & Mary’s Mike Reilly were chosen as the CAA preseason Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively. New Hampshire was chosen to win the conference title in 2014, receiving 15 first-place votes.
Holder was named first team All-CAA in 2013 and earned second team All-America honors from The Sports Network and Beyond Sports Network. He started 13 of 16 games and had 16 receptions for 172 yards with three touchdowns. Holder caught an 18-yard touchdown pass in Towson’s victory over New Hampshire and had a five-yard TD catch against Delaware. Holder also had a one-yard touchdown reception to help lead the Tigers to a win at Eastern Washington in the semifinals of the NCAA FCS playoffs.
Delaire was named as a third team All-American by College Sports Madness and by Beyond Sports Network in 2013. He earned a spot on the All-CAA first team after leading the league in total tackles for a loss, total sacks and in fumbles recovered. Delaire started all 15 games that he played in and made 68 tackles, including 43 solo – fifth-most on the team. He also had 17.5 tackles for a loss (86 yards) to lead the team. He had four tackles and two sacks at North Carolina Central and made eight tackles with two sacks at William & Mary. Delaire made two tackles and had one QB hurry against North Dakota State in the FCS National Championship game.
Carpenter was named first team All-CAA as a free safety last year after tying for sixth in the CAA in interceptions and 10th in fumbles recovered. He had an interception and a 34-yard return for a touchdown at Richmond and made a career-high 13 tackles against Villanova. Carpenter made six tackles and recovered a fumble in the win over James Madison. He made nine tackles and recorded an interception in the win at Eastern Washington. Carpenter’s interception clinched the win over the Eagles with three seconds left.
Smith, who was named to the Beyond Sports Network Preseason FCS All-America team, is coming off a sensational junior campaign. The cornerback was named second team CAA after ranking eighth in the league in passes defended (14) and third on the team with 103 tackles. Smith started 15 of 16 games and recorded 4.5 tackles for a loss. He had one sack, two interceptions, recorded 12 pass breakups, forced two fumbles and recovered one.