Junior linebacker becomes program's third All-American
EASTON, Mass. (January 27, 2014) – Stonehill College junior linebacker Brian Harrington (Rockland, Mass./Rockland) has been named to the 2013 Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America second team by the Don Hanson Football Committee.
Harrington becomes the third All-American in the history of the Stonehill football program, all of which have come over the last four seasons under the direction of head coach Robert Talley. He joins former teammates Stephan Neville, '12, who was named to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coaches' All-America team in 2010, and Jareed Gaines, '13, who earned third team All-America honors from the Beyond Sports Network following the 2012 season.
Harrington, who collected honorable mention All-America honors from Beyond Sports Network this season as well, adds his first career All-America selection to an impressive haul of honors and achievements from his record-breaking 2012 season. The Cliff Harris Award finalist for the Small College Defensive Player of the Year received the Joseph P. Zabilski Defensive Award from the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston, and was named to both the Don Hansen and Daktronics All-Super Region 1 first teams. He has also earned New England Football Writers College Division All-New England and first team All-Northeast-10 Conference honors this season and was named D2Football.com's Defensive Player of the Year for the NE-10.
Harrington, a four-time NE-10 Defensive Player of the Week during the 2013 season, led the Conference with a league and program record 151 tackles, which led the Conference, ranks fourth nationally and is the 11th-highest single-season total in Division II history. He posted double-figure tackles in ten of Stonehill's 11 games and had 16 or more stops in six games. Harrington registered a career-high 17 tackles in an overtime win at Assumption College on September 20 and matched in the NE-10 Championship at American International College on November 16. He posted a career-best 11 solo tackles in a win at Southern Connecticut State University on October 12 and matched at AIC in the NE-10 title game.
Harrington led the NE-10 with his 73 solo tackles (6th nationally) and 78 tackle assists to go with 7.0 tackles for a loss of 30 yards, including 2.5 sacks for a loss of 16, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and pass breakup. He was a leading force for a Stonehill defense which finished the season ranked second in the NE-10 for scoring defense (24.3 ppg), third in passing defense (246.8 yds/gm) and forced a league-high 30 turnovers, including a Conference best 14 fumble recoveries, and finished fourth for sacks (21). His 13.7 tackles per game ranks third nationally.
Harrington earned a starting role on the defensive unit after gaining experience as a member of the Stonehill special teams units as a freshman and sophomore, being named the Skyhawks Special Teams Player of the Year by the coaching staff in 2012. He has played 31 games over his career, starting all 11 this season, and has posted 176 career tackles (87 solo). Of his record 151 tackles this season, 105 came against the run, more than double his next teammate. Harrington has earned NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll all five semesters completed at the College and Athletic Director's Honor Roll four semesters.
The Don Hansen Division II All-America Team carries out the legacy of longtime small college football advocate Don Hansen, who passed away at age 75 in 2010. Hansen, from Brookfield, Ill., started and published Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette for three decades, selecting NCAA Division II All-America teams for the first time in 1988.
Stonehill posted its best season in nearly 20 years this fall as it finished with an 8-3 record overall, including an 8-1 mark in the Northeast-10 to earn a share of its first NE-10 regular season championship. The Skyhawks posted their first winning season since an 8-2 campaign in 1996 and fell a win shy of the single-season program record of nine in 1995. Stonehill finished above .500 in NE-10 play for the second-straight year and third time in head coach Robert Talley's seven seasons at the helm.
Stonehill appeared among teams receiving votes in the AFCA Division II poll for the first time in program history six weeks this fall, including five straight leading up to Saturday's NE-10 Championship appearance, and was ranked in each of the NCAA Division II Super Region 1 rankings this fall. Stonehill is also ranked sixth in final ECAC Lambert Meadowlands poll, after being ranked as high as fifth this season, marking the first time the Skyhawks have been ranked in that poll.