SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University football junior Thomas Costigan (Stamford, Conn.) was named the Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Year, freshman Andre Brackett (East Windsor, Conn.) earned NEC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and eight were named All-NEC as the conference announced its annual year-end awards on Wednesday.
Costigan becomes the program's second defensive player of the year honoree, following in the footsteps of Jeff Covitz who won the award in 2014. Brackett is also the second player in program history to be named the league's top rookie on defense, joining Max Machado (2010).
In addition, Costigan earned First Team All-NEC honors and was joined on the first team by senior wide receiver Tom Kennedy (Farmingdale, N.Y.), redshirt junior defensive end Dillon Guthro (Newburyport, Mass.) and redshirt sophomore return specialist Jean Constant (Delray Beach, Fla.).
Constant also earned Second Team All-NEC honors as a wide receiver and was joined by redshirt junior quarterback Price Wilson (Marietta, Ga.), redshirt junior defensive tackle Kevin Lazo (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) and sophomore place kicker Gavin Rowley (Hempstead, Md.).
Costigan's defensive player of the year honor comes as no surprise after he put together one of the best defensive seasons in program history. He finished with 103 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 17 tackles for a loss, four forced fumbles and an interception. Costigan became just the second player in program history to record 100+ tackles and tied a program record for sacks in a season. He finished second in the NEC in total tackles, while leading the league in both sacks and tackles for a loss, finishing the regular season second nationally in sacks.
Brackett's end of season honor comes on the heels of a strong rookie season that saw him play his best football at the end of the year. He finished the year with 24 tackles, 19 solo, two interceptions and two pass breakups. Brackett made 15 of his 24 tackles and posted both of his interceptions over the final four weeks of the season. He was a force on special teams as well, finishing the season with a team-leading nine tackles on special teams.
Kennedy's return to football couldn't have gone better as Wednesday's all-league honor puts him in rarified air. Already a two-time All-NEC selection in lacrosse, Kennedy becomes one of a very short list of student-athletes to earn All-NEC honors in two different non-Olympic sports. He was Bryant's top receiver this fall, finishing with 57 catches for 888 yards and nine touchdowns. Kennedy recorded five 100-yard games and was also a key member of Bryant's run game, registering 66 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries. Kennedy's 12 total touchdowns were third in the league, while his receiving yards per game ranked third in the NEC.
For Guthro, the First Team All-NEC honor is the first postseason honor in his career. It comes after he posted 38 tackles, four sacks, 6.5 tackles for a loss, four pass breakups and two blocked kicks. A dynamic end, Guthro posted three sacks against Saint Francis U and then finished the year with three pass breakups against Duquesne.
Constant becomes the first Bulldog since Jordan Brown (2011, 2012) to earn multiple All-NEC honors in the same season as he was named to the first team as a return specialist and the second team as a wide receiver. It also marks the third-straight year Bryant has had an all-league returner. As a returner, Constant set a program record with 989 return yards and two touchdowns. He finished the regular season ranked seventh nationally in return average (27.5), posting kick return scores of 100 and 86. As a receiver, he was second on the team with 48 catches for 594 yards and seven touchdowns. Constant caught at least four passes in all but one game and finished the year with 1,633 all-purpose yards, the fifth-most in a single season in program history. He ranks fifth nationally as well.
A first-year Bulldog, Wilson picks up second team honors after rewriting the Bryant record book. He set school records for completions (257), attempts (431), passing yards (3,311) and total offense (3,263). Wilson threw 24 touchdown passes and finished the season just 10 yards shy of tying the single-season NEC record. The first 3,000-yard passer in school history, Wilson threw for over 300 yards six times, for over 200 yards nine times and set a school record with six touchdown passes against Sacred Heart. He finished the regular season ranked eighth nationally in passing yards.
Lazo, a co-captain with Guthro, picks up All-NEC honors for the first time in his career following a spectacular season up front. He posted 41 tackles, three sacks, 5.5 tackles for a loss, recovered two fumbles and blocked a program-record four kicks. Lazo wrapped up the season in style, posting 15 tackles and two sacks over the final three games.
Rowley becomes the first kicker in DI program history to earn All-NEC honors. In his first year as the starter, Rowley handled kickoffs, punting and place kicks, finishing the year 7-of-9 in field goals and 36-of-38 in PATs. He led the league in field goal percentage (77.8) and finished second in the NEC in PAT percentage (94.7). Rowley capped his season by hitting a career-high 39-yard field goal in Bryant's win over Duquesne.