Tom Flacco voted CAA offensive player of the year

November 20, 2018 | Luke Jones


TOWSON, Md. – A strong year for the Towson University football team was personified in the 2018 All-CAA Teams, as Tom Flacco was voted the 2018 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Offensive Player of the Year and Shane Simpson was selected as the 2018 Special Teams Player of the Year.

In addition, Towson earned 11 All-CAA selections, including tying a league-high five on the First Team. This is the most all-conference players from Towson since 2013, when the Tigers had 14 all-conference selections. 2013 is also the last time when Towson had two major award winners in the CAA.

All five First Team members for Towson play on offense: Flacco (QB), Simpson (RB), Shane Leatherbury (WR), Matt Kauffman (OL) and Aidan O’Neill (K).

Simpson earned three all-conference selections. Along with being a First Team running back, he is also on the Second Team as a kick returner and the Third Team as a punt returner. He is joined on the Second Team with Robert Heyward (LB).

On the Third Team, along with Simpson, is Aaron Grzymkowski (OL), Diondre Wallace (LB) and Yeedee Thaenrat (Special Teams).

The All-CAA awards are voted on by the league’s head coaches following the end of the regular season.

Simpson, also a First Team All-CAA kick returner in 2016, is second in all of FCS in all-purpose yards, averaging 177.64 yards per game between rushing, receiving and returning. The redshirt junior also stands with 615 rushing yards, off 4.6 yards a carry, 347 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns.

Flacco, in his first year with the program, is third in FCS with 348 yards of total offense per game. The redshirt junior also is in the top-12 in FCS with 284 passing yards a game (7th), 23.55 completions per game (6th) and completion percentage at 63.8% (12th). He has a total of 3,124 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns, 704 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.

Leatherbury is the top target for the Towson passing attack, standing second in the CAA, and top-35 in FCS, with 79.5 receiving yards a game and six receptions a game. The redshirt junior has tallied 66 receptions for 875 yards and seven touchdowns, all team highs.

Kauffman has started every game at tackle for Towson, earning his first all-conference honor in his senior season. He is a team captain for an offensive line that leads the CAA in scoring offense with 36.7 points per game and total offense with 474.8 yards earned per game.

O’Neill is the FCS leader in field goals per game with 1.91 made per contest, totaling 21 field goals on the year, a Towson single season record. The junior, who picks up his third all-conference honor after being Third Team in 2016 and 2017, is also second in the CAA, and 23rd in FCS, with a 77.8% field goal rate.

Heyward notches his first-ever all-conference honor at linebacker for the Tigers, being Towson’s leader in tackles with 92 and tackles for loss with 9.5. The redshirt junior enters the playoffs at sixth in the CAA in tackles per game with 8.3.

In his first year as a starter, Grzymkowski, a redshirt sophomore, earns all-conference honors as an offensive guard. He helped the offensive line that leads the CAA in scoring offense with 36.7 points per game and total offense with 474.8 yards earned per game.

Wallace, a team captain on defense, picks up all-conference honors for the first time in his career. Ranking seventh in Towson history in career tackles, the senior linebacker is tied for 11th in the CAA in tackles per game, totaling 81 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss.

A dual player as a running back and special teams player, Thaenrat picks up all-conference honors in his first year with the team. The junior has 11 tackles and a forced fumble on kickoff coverage plus has 250 rushing yards on offense.

The Tigers take on Duquesne on Saturday, Nov. 24th at 2 p.m. at Johnny Unitas® Stadium. For tickets, visit here, call 1-855-TU-TIGER or email

CAA Major Awards:

–Offensive Player of the Year: Tom Flacco

–Special Teams Player of the Year: Shane Simpson

All-CAA First Team:

Tom Flacco (QB)

Shane Simpson (RB)

Shane Leatherbury (WR)

Matt Kauffman (OL)

Aidan O’Neill (K)

All-CAA Second Team:

Shane Simpson (KR)

Robert Heyward (LB)

All-CAA Third Team:

Aaron Grzymkowski (OL)

Shane Simpson (PR)

Diondre Wallace (LB)

Yeedee Thaenrat (Special Teams)