Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Slippery Rock's Fusco earns first-team AFCA All-America honor

WACO, Texas – Slippery Rock University senior offensive center Brandon Fusco was named Wednesday as a member of the 2010 AFCA Division II Coaches' All-America Team selected by the American Football Coaches Association.

Fusco is the first Rock football player to earn AFCA All-America honors since Dave Sabolcik in 1997 and the seventh SRU player to be recognized by the coaches' organization. (See list below)

Fusco was the only Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference student athlete and one of only three Super Region One student athletes to be honored by the AFCA this season.

The AFCA honor was the latest in a long line of citations earned by the 6-foot-5, 305-pound Fusco, a native of Cranberry Township and graduate of Seneca Valley High School.

Fusco was named Monday as the 2010 recipient of the Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year Award sponsored by the Manheim (Pa.) Touchdown Club. With that honor came an automatic invitation to participate in both the Jan. 22, 2011, East-West Shrine  (Orlando, Fla.) and Feb. 5 NFLPA Game (San Antonio, Texas) postseason all-star games.

The following day, Fusco was named to first-team Daktronics All America honors in voting by sports information directors at NCAA Division II football-playing institutions.

One week earlier, Fusco received an invitation to play in the Cactus Bowl, Division II all-star game Jan. 7, 2011 in Kingsville, Texas.

Fusco is also on the watch list for the Jan. 29 Senior Bowl all-star game in Mobile, Ala. His chances for earning that invitation are enhanced by the fact he is ranked fourth among NFL Draft-eligible centers in the nation by and is the only Division II player ranked in the top five draft prospects at any position. Fusco is projected to be a fifth-round NFL draft pick.

Fusco earned first-team Preseason All-America honors last summer from The Sporting News, Consensus Draft Services, and Hde also received first-team All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference-Western Division honors for the third consecutive season.

A year ago, in addition to being named to first-team all-conference status, Fusco received second-team All-America postseason honors from Don Hansen's Football Gazette, first-team all-region honors from the Football Gazette and Daktronics Inc. and finished third in the Super Region One Upshaw Award voting.

A third-team Football Gazette all-region selection as a sophomore in 2008, Fusco served two seasons (2009 and 2010) as a Rock team captain and was the team's 2009 Offensive MVP. He was in the starting lineup for all 44 Rock games since 2007, a rare accomplishment, especially for an offensive lineman.

This fall, Fusco was the foundation of a Rock offensive line that opened holes for redshirt sophomore running back Akeem Satterfield <> , the No. 1 scorer/No. 2 rusher in the PSAC and the No. 3 scorer/No. 5 rusher in the nation.

The complete list of Rock football players who have earned AFCA All-America honors includes:

• Ed O'Reilly, RB, 1974
• Jerry Skocik, TE, 1975
• Chris Thull, LB, 1976
• Bob Schrantz, TE, 1977-78
• Jeff Williams, P, 1985
• Dave Sabolcik, OL, 1997
• Brandon Fusco, OL, 2010

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