Lee, Woodruff, Drass earn NJAC major awards; 15 named All-NJAC

Photo by Angela Benefield
Photo by Angela Benefield

PITMAN, N.J. – Sophomore running back E.J. Lee, freshman defensive end Stefon Woodruff and head coach Mike Drass collected major New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) awards and 15 Wesley College football players were recognized on All-NJAC teams for 2017.

Lee earned NJAC Offensive Player of the Year honors. Lee finished the regular season tops in the NJAC in rushing yards (1,384), rushing average per game (138.4), rushing touchdowns (20), all-purpose yards (1,564) and all-purpose yards per game (156.4).  Lee was the only NJAC player this season to tally over 1,000 all-purpose yards. In the NCAA rankings, Lee ranks fifth in rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns, and scoring. He also ranks 10th in the NCAA in rushing yards and 11th in rushing yards per game. Lee was named Co-NJAC Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2016.

Woodruff received the NJAC Defensive Rookie of the Year award. He led the NJAC in sacks with (11.0) and finished the regular season second in tackles for loss (18.0). Woodruff totaled 50 tackles during his freshman season.

Drass was named NJAC Coach of the Year. It is the first time that Drass has earned the NJAC Coach of the Year award and the 13th time that Drass was picked up a Coach of the Year award. In his 25th season as head coach of the Wolverines, Drass led the Wolverines to their third consecutive NJAC Championship and their first outright conference championship to earn their 13th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. Drass has the highest winning percentage (.790) among active coaches in all divisions with over 210 career wins.

Lee joined junior quarterback Khaaliq Burroughs, junior receiver Alex Kemp, senior receiver James Okike, senior offensive tackle Matt Gono, senior defensive end Isaiah Ingram, senior linebacker Samer Manna, senior cornerback DaJahn Lowery and junior safety Cappadonna Miller on the All-NJAC First Team.

Burroughs finished second in the NJAC in total offense (2,216) and completion percentage (64.0). Burroughs also placed third in the NJAC in total touchdowns (19), passing touchdowns (15) and passing yards (2,047).

Okike led the NJAC with 816 receiving yards and finished second in receiving touchdowns (8), receptions (50) and receiving yards per game (81.6). He averaged 16.3 yards per catch. Kemp placed third in the NJAC in receptions (45) and receiving yards (691). Kemp scored four receiving touchdowns and averaged 15.4 yards per catch. It is the second time both Kemp and Okike were named to the All-NJAC First Team and the third All-NJAC award for Kemp after being selected honorable mention in 2015.

A Consensus Preseason All-American, Gono received All-NJAC First Team honors for the third consecutive year. He helped the Wesley offense finish first in total offense, totaling 4,388 yards in the regular season.

Ingram recorded six sacks in 2017 to rank seventh in the NJAC. He also tallied 41 tackles, 9.5 were for loss. It was the second time Ingram notched an All-NJAC award after being named to the second team in 2016.

Manna earned his third All-NJAC First Team laurel after tallying 90 tackles to tie for second in the NJAC. He also collected 8.5 tackles for loss, four pass breakups and three forced fumbles.

Lowery picked up an All-NJAC First Team nod, the second of his career, after recording 52 tackles, eight passes defended, five pass breakups, 3.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions. He registered a defensive touchdown when he returned an interception 57 yards for a touchdown against William Paterson on Sept. 23. Miller tallied his first All-NJAC award after picking off five passes, third-most in the NJAC. Miller also collected 66 tackles to rank third on the Wolverines.

Senior defensive tackle Stephen Yorkman, senior linebacker Mike Sabino along with Woodruff were named to the All-NJAC Second Team.

Yorkman recorded 45 tackles, including 7.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery from the defensive tackle position. Yorkman also blocked a field goal in overtime against Frostburg St. on Oct. 7 to preserve a win for Wesley. Sabino registered 67 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and an interception. Sabino also defended three passes and broke up two passes. It is the first time both Sabino and Yorkman were named to All-NJAC teams.

Junior tight end Andrew Eagle, junior defensive tackle Nick Glover and sophomore kicker/punter Nick Bruhn landed on the Honorable Mention All-NJAC team.

Eagle reeled in 15 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown. Eagles also played an integral part in the running game, blocking for Wesley's running backs.

Glover recorded 21 tackles, three sacks and three tackles for loss from the defensive tackle position. Glover was an honorable mention selection in 2016.

Bruhn converted 11-of-15 field goal attempts and went 39-for-44 in extra-point tries, tying for the NJAC lead in both categories. Bruhn averaged 37.7 yards per punt for the Wolverines.