SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University football team celebrated the 2016 season on Saturday night with its annual Football Awards Banquet in the George E. Bello '58 Center.
The Bulldogs finished the year with a 5-6 record and a 4-2 mark in the Northeast Conference. Bryant placed eight players on the All-NEC First and Second teams and had two players earn All-New England honors.
BLACK & GOLD (BULLDOG) AWARD – Dalton Easton
Easton put together a record-breaking season as Bryant's quarterback in 2016. He set single-season program records for completions (219), attempts (388), passing yards (2,855), passing yards per game (259.5), total offense (2,735) and passing touchdowns (28) on his way to Second Team All-NEC honors. The 28 touchdowns also were the most by a QB in a single season in Northeast Conference history. Easton finished his career with program records in completions (580), attempts (1,053), passing yards (7,463), touchdowns (70) and total offense (7.160).
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Taylor Barthelette
Barthelette posted another outstanding season for the Black and Gold, earning Second Team All-NEC honors. He led the Bulldogs with 47 catches, for 758 yards and eight touchdowns, all which were career highs. Barthelette posted back-to-back 100-yard games to open the season, becoming the first wide receiver in school history to open a season like that. He finished his career sixth all-time in receptions and fifth all-time in receiving yards.
Nemerowicz enjoyed the greatest rookie season for a defensive player in program history this past fall, registering 91 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and an interception. He set a program record for tackles by a freshman and became just the third player in program history to post 90+ tackles in a single season.
Watson wrapped up his historic career by earning First Team All-NEC honors on the defensive line. He made the move from linebacker to defensive line in the fall and finished the year with 53 tackles, the most by a player at his position in the NEC. Watson also became Bryant's all-time leader in tackles during the season, wrapping up his career with 256 tackles.
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR – Tyler Cardoze
Cardoze made 10 starts on the offensive line for the Bulldogs this past fall on his way to earning Second Team All-NEC honors. He made starts at right tackle, left guard and left tackle during the season, helping the Bulldogs post one of the best passing games in the NEC.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR – Kevin Lazo
Lazo came into his own this past fall, starting all 11 games at defensive tackle. He finished the year with 46 tackles, a sack, 1.5 tackles for a loss and he also blocked two field goals. Lazo blocked both field goals against Brown, earning STATS FCS Honorable Mention Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Ricky Perez
Perez put together one of the best seasons for a kicker in program history this past fall. He was 8-for-10 on field goals and 35-for-36 on PATs. Perez's 59 points were the most by a kicker in program history. He knocked down a program-record 51-yard field goal at Montana State and also added a 50-yarder against Robert Morris.
Barton enjoyed a breakout year in 2016, starting all 11 games as a defensive end. He finished the year with 23 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and a half sack. Barton posted a career-high nine tackles at No. 15 Coastal Carolina.
Taute was a do-everything back for the Bulldogs, earning Second Team All-NEC honors. He carried the ball 62 times for 233 yards and a team-leading five rushing touchdowns, while also catching 19 passes for 146 yards.
Given to the individuals that have done everything they can throughout the week to help the team, these two players were outstanding role models for their fellow teammates. They were instrumental in preparing the Bulldogs for Saturday's opponent.
These two seniors exemplified everything that it means to be a Bulldog. They were leaders on and off the field, in the classroom and in the community. They were looked at as leaders and had all the values of a Bryant University student.
Elmore appeared in all 11 games at center for the Bulldogs.
Keenan started all 11 games as Bryant's free safety, finishing his career with 33-straight starts. He posted a career-high 55 tackles, recovered a fumble and also posted his first-career interception.
Awarded to those players that excel in the classroom and on the football field, the academic awards were given to the student-athletes that represented all that it means to be a exactly that.
Bryant's chosen leaders on and off the field, these four were the backbone of Bryant's football team this year. They were leaders in every sense of the word.