CHARLOTTE, N.C. – University of New Hampshire junior running back Nico Steriti (Toms River, N.J.) has been named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) FCS Running Back Award Watch List, the organization announced Monday. The preliminary list highlights 33 returning performers vying for the top RB honor in the Football Championship Subdivision.
"Congratulations to Nico Steriti on joining teammate Andy Vailas on the 2013 CFPA Watch List," CFPA executive director Brad Smith said. "Head coach Sean McDonnell has an explosive returning performer at the running back position for the 2013 season."
Steriti paced the Wildcats with 963 yards on 140 rushing attempts last season while appearing in all 12 games, including five starts. The All-CAA Second Team running back ranked sixth in the league in rushing yards/game (76.8), accumulated five 100-yard rushing performances and scored a team-leading nine rushing touchdowns. He ranked 10th in the CAA in all-purpose yards/game (101.5) and scoring/game (5.0 points) among non-kickers.
In 2012, Steriti was feted as the CFPA National RB of Week Honorable Mention following his performance at fifth-ranked Old Dominion on Sept. 22 when he rushed 21 times for a career-high 201 yards and two touchdowns.
UNH is one of only 15 programs to have returning players on both the CFPA Quarterback Award Watch List (Andy Vailas; Bedford, N.H.) and the CFPA Running Back Award Watch List. Former New Hampshire linebacker Matt Evans (Hanover, Ma.) was tabbed the CFPA Elite Linebacker Award winner in 2011.
All CFPA recipients are selected exclusively based upon scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. All players are eligible for awards at their respective positions; players are not preemptively eliminated from consideration. For more information, visit www.collegefootballperformance.com. The full list of 2013 CFPA FCS award recipients will be announced Jan. 8, 2014.
After winning the 2012 CAA football co-championship, the Wildcats open the 2013 season at Central Michigan of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) on Saturday, Sept. 7. UNH owns the nation's longest streaks for consecutive playoff appearances (nine) and consecutive weeks ranked (126).
To purchase 2013 UNH football season tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5. For more information on the UNH football program, visit www.unhwildcats.com or follow @UNHWildcats on Twitter.