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Smith, Umunakwe Named All-NEC First Team

All-NEC First Team selections for Nas Smith and Chizi Umunakwe highlighted six total all-conference selections for CCSU Football on Wednesday.
All-NEC First Team selections for Nas Smith and Chizi Umunakwe highlighted six total all-conference selections for CCSU Football on Wednesday.

Central Connecticut football seniors Nasir Smith and Chizi Umunakwe were named First-Team All-Northeast Conference on Wednesday.  Jahlil Brown, Jonathan Cabral-Martin, Reis Spicer and Craig Wood were also honored with All-NEC Second Team honors.

Smith rushed for 1,219 yards, the seventh-best total in a single season in program history, to capture the NEC rushing title. His 110.8 yards per game, 14 total touchdowns and 13 rushing touchdowns also led the league in 2022. Smith posted two of the top-three single-game rushing efforts in the league this fall, including a career-best 218-yard effort in the season finale at Stonehill. He finished the year with four consecutive games of 127 yards or more and had six 100+ yard rushing games. Smith had at least one touchdown in six straight games to end the season, with a career-high four scores in his collegiate finale.

Umunakwe, who was named a Buck Buchanan Award finalist on Tuesday, was a Second Team All-NEC honoree last season. He finished the year with a league-best 94 tackles and led the league, ranking 22nd nationally, with 9.4 tackles per game. Umunakwe tallied six double-digit tackle games in 2022, with back-to-back 14 tackle games versus Saint Francis and Brown. He recorded 10.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks, 1 QBH and a forced fumble on the year.

Brown earns All-NEC Second Team accolades for the second time in as many seasons. The corner back recorded 58 tackles, with a career-best 36 solo stops on his resume. Brown also had 4.0 TFL, two fumble recoveries and a PBU this season.

Cabral-Martin made a career-best 66 tackles, 49 of them solo stops this season. He broke up six passes, second on the team and 13th in the conference. He also forced a pair of fumbles in his 11 games this year.

Spicer and Wood anchored the Blue Devils offensive line that led the way for the league's leading rusher. The CCSU offensive averaged 320.5 yards of total offense on the season and just shy of 150 yards per game on the ground. Spicer and Wood both started all 11 games this fall.

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NEW BRITAIN, CT 06050

(860) 832-BLUE

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