MEDFORD – Earlier this week, the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced the members of the 2019 NFF Hampshire Honor Society and eight Jumbos were recognized.
The NFF Honor Society is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers. Jumbos who earned that achievement were seniors Jared Ahsler, Dan de Leon, Alex LaPiana, Dan MacDonald, Ryan McDonald, Nmesoma Nwafor, Tim Reitzenstein and Frank Roche.
Nominated by their respective schools, members of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society must have completed their final year of playing eligibility in 2018. They must have achieved a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout the entire course of undergraduate study and met all NCAA-mandated progress toward degree requirements. Each must have been starters or significant contributors throughout the 2018 season.
Ahsler is an economics major and defensive end who led Tufts in sacks last fall. A philosophy major, de Leon caught 25 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns as a wide receiver in 2018. LaPiana (economics) was a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) All-Conference second team pick at defensive back. MacDonald, another econ major, started at right guard for a Jumbo offense that was second in the conference averaging nearly 30 points per game last season.
McDonald, the Jumbo QB and an economics major, was the NESCAC Offensive Player of the Year and won the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston's Joe Zabilski Award as New England's top offensive player in Division II/III. Nwafor was a force in the middle of Tufts' defensive line and is a biology major. Reitzenstein was an All-Conference first team selection at offensive tackle for the second straight year. Roche (political science) caught 19 passes for 248 yards and a touchdown.
An all-time high of 1,671 players from a record 428 schools qualified for membership in the Society's 13th year.
"We are pleased to see another record number of athletes honored by the Hampshire Honor Society this year," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "For more than a decade, it has become a powerful vehicle for schools to recognize their college football players who have distinguished themselves both academically and athletically, and we congratulate the schools and each of these young men for their commitment to excellence in all aspects of their lives."