McAllister, Jennings named to All-NESCAC football team
Kyle McAllister '10
Bill Jennings '10
HADLEY, Mass. -- Bates College juniors Kyle McAllister and Bill Jennings both earned All-NESCAC football team honors on Tuesday as the New England Small College Athletics Conference named its 2008 All-Conference teams. McAllister earned First Team All-Conference honors at defensive back, while Jennings was chosen the kick return specialist on the Second Team. It is the first All-NESCAC postseason award for both players.
Jennings (Marshfield, Mass.) became Bates' first player to earn All-NESCAC honors as a return specialist. He returned 22 kickoffs on the season for a total of 641 yards, for a league-leading average of 22.9 yards per return. His relatively low longest kickoff return this season of 36 yards bears testament to his consistent effectiveness. Jennings also had a standout season at cornerback, recording five interceptions, which tied him for second in the conference, and returning them for a total of 66 yards. He also collected 27 tackles and, with five pass breakups to go with five pickoffs, he was tied for second in the conference in passes defended.
McAllister becomes the first non-senior to earn all-conference laurels since Terence Ryan '07 in 2005, and Bates' first all-conference defensive back since Mike Horan '05 in 2004. A free safety and one of only three defensive backs in Bates' 4-4 defense, McAllister was among the conference leaders in tackles, interceptions, fumble recoveries and forced fumbles, and he garnered NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week award twice in the eight-week season.
McAllister ranked 10th in the NESCAC, and first among defensive backs, with 60 tackles over eight games, an average of 7.5 per game that was second on the Bobcats behind sophomore linebacker Myles Walker. He also tied for sixth in the conference in interceptions, with three, after leading the NESCAC in that category in 2007 with six. His three forced fumbles shared the conference lead with Colby's Sam Handler, and his four fumble recoveries ranked him second in the conference.
McAllister picked up his second NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week award of the season after sparking the Bobcats in their first win of the season, a 31-21 decision over Colby on Oct. 25. In that game he stripped a Colby running back of the ball, retained the fumble and returned the ball 41 yards for a touchdown. The play highlighted a day in which McAllister totaled 7 tackles (6 solo), an interception, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
McAllister won the same award after Week 1, when Bates fell 17-7 at Trinity. In that game McAllister made a game-high 13 tackles, including one for a loss, picked off a pass and returned it for 25 yards, and recovered a Trinity fumble.