RICHMOND, Va. - After earning a share of the 2012 CAA Football championship with its Capital Cup win over William & Mary this past Saturday, 11 University of Richmond Spider Football players garnered All-CAA honors on Monday.
Earning All-CAA First-Team honors were FB Kendall Gaskins, WR Ben Edwards and S Cooper Taylor, while TE Kevin Finney, LB Darius McMillan, DL Evan Kelly and KR Justin Grant were named to the all-conference second team. WR Stephen Barnette, OL Nick Ritcher, CB Darryl Hamilton and LB Eric Wright all earned All-CAA Third-Team accolades.
The all-conference honor for Gaskins was the third in his illustrious career and the second first-team distinction. The Burlington, N.J. native led the CAA with 16 touchdowns this season, rushing for 604 yards on 148 carries. Gaskins also showed his versatility, catching 21 balls for 193 yards and three scores.
Although he played just two seasons for the Spiders, Taylor leaves Richmond having made quite the impression with his outstanding play. Taylor earned first-team honors after totaling 78 tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and four interceptions in 2012.
After playing solidly for his first two years, Edwards emerged as one of the finest receivers in the CAA this season, garnering an All-CAA First-Team selection. Edwards led the CAA with 80 receptions this season, while ranking fifth in yards with 852. Edwards also reeled in three touchdown catches - third-best on the team.
The Richmond defense could not have forced 32 turnovers this season without the terrific play of both McMillan and Kelly. McMillan earned his second-straight All-CAA Second-Team honor after totaling a team-best 86 tackles, while Kelly earned his first all-conference honor after recording 51 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2012.
A three-year starter for the Spiders, Finney was named second-team All-CAA after reeling in 27 catches for 247 yards. Finney's five touchdown receptions tied him for the CAA lead amongst tight ends. A dynamic force in special teams, Grant was named to the second-team after ranking third in the nation this year with a 32.3 kickoff return average. Grant's best return of the season came against VMI, when he took the opening kickoff back for a score.
Saving his best season for last, Hamilton had five interceptions to earn All-CAA Third-Team honors. Joining him on the team was Wright, who ranked second on the team with 78 tackles.
Rounding out the Spiders' All-CAA honors were Barnette and Ritcher. Barnette had a breakout year for Richmond, totaling 56 catches for 848 yards and four scores. Ritcher was a standout on one of the country's best offensive lines in 2012, earning all-conference third-team honors. Richmond allowed just five sacks all season - best in the CAA and third best in the nation.