PISCATAWAY, NJ – Five Rutgers University football players have earned All-BIG EAST honors, including four on the first team, as announced today by the Conference office. Wide receiver Tres Moses (Delray Beach, FL), tight end Clark Harris (Manahawkin, NJ), running back Brian Leonard (Gouverneur, NY) and defensive end Ryan Neill (Wayne Hills, NJ) were all named to the All-BIG EAST First Team, while offensive lineman John Glass (Allentown, PA) was a second-team honoree. It is the fourth time overall, but first since 1994, that Rutgers has placed five players on All-BIG EAST teams.
“I’m very proud of all of our young men, and particularly proud that five were selected to the All-BIG EAST teams, including four on the first team,” said Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. “It’s another sign of where this program is headed. What should excite the Rutgers faithful the most is that all five will be back in 2005, and Brian (Leonard) and Clark (Harris) will be with us in 2006 as well.”
Moses led the BIG EAST and was No. 7 nationally in receptions per game (7.36), setting a BIG EAST record .He became the first RU receiver to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark in a season, posting 1,056 yards in 11 games, which also established a new single-season Rutgers record. In addition, he ranked second in the league in receiving yards/game (96.0) and his 1,056 yards was the seventh-highest single-season total in league history. Moses posted five, 100-yard games this season, including back-to-back efforts to close the season, culminating in a 168-yard, two-TD performance vs. Connecticut on Nov. 25. Over the final eight games of the 2004 season, Moses had 948 receiving yards.
Harris led all BIG EAST tight ends in catches (53), yards (753) and touchdowns, while ranking second nationally among all tight ends in catches and yards. He also ranked sixth overall in the league in receptions per game (4.82) and fifth in receiving yards/game (65.9). Harris had three, 100-yard games this season including a 9-catch, 116-yard effort at Navy on Nov. 20 which established personal bests in both categories. He also caught six passed for 108 yards and two TD’s vs. Kent State (9/18) and had five catches for 100 yards at Pittsburgh on Oct. 23.
Leonard finished second in the league in all-purpose yardage (125.0/game) and fifth in rushing (73.2/game), but led all running backs, both in the BIG EAST and nationally, in catches (6.1) and receiving yards (51.8) per game. He gained over 100 all-purpose yards in all 10 games he played this season, including a season-high 150 in a 19-14 win over Michigan State on Sept. 4. He led RU with nine touchdowns, including four in a comeback win at Vanderbilt on Oct. 9 and caught five or more passes in eight of 10 contests.
Neill, who missed all of 2003 following a severe knee injury suffered during the 2002 season, returned to the starting lineup in 2004 as one of the league’s most productive defensive linemen. He led all RU linemen with 43 tackles, 13.0 tackles-for-loss and 8.0 sacks, finishing second in the league in sacks and fourth in TFL’s. He was a key part of a defensive line, starting all 11 games, which led the conference with 31 sacks this season. In his first game back this season, Neill earned BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week honors when he registered four tackles and returned an interception 31 yards for the decisive touchdown in a 19-14 win over Michigan State on Sept. 4. He later earned Pontiac/Game Breaker of the Week national honors for his effort vs. the Spartans. He also had at least one tackle-for-loss in 9 of 11 games this season and four or more tackles in 7 of 11 games.
Glass, a two-year starter for the Scarlet Knights, was one of just two RU linemen to start all 11 games this season. Glass was a mainstay at right guard this season and helped Rutgers produce the best passing totals in school history and the seventh-best mark in the country this season (310.5 yards per game). As a unit the offensive line allowed just 20 sacks, third-best in the league.