BALTIMORE, Md. — The University at Albany football team’s Eli Mencer, Levi Metheny and Dev Holmes have been named Colonial Athletic Association Preseason All-Conference Honorable Mention, the league announced Tuesday, July 23.
Mencer, a rising redshirt senior, and Metheny, a rising redshirt junior, were two-thirds of the Great Danes’ starting linebacker corps in 2018. Mencer, also a standout on special teams, was named as a specialist. Holmes, a rising sophomore, made the team at wide receiver.
“They had a good year last year, and it’s good to see the coaches recognize them,” UAlbany Head Coach Greg Gattuso said at the league’s annual media day, held at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. “That’s great for them. We’re excited about the new year and getting those guys back on the field.”
Mencer, from Altoona, Pa., routinely has been one of the Great Danes’ top playmakers on both defense and special teams. Last season, he led UAlbany with 4.5 sacks. He was second on the team with 8.5 tackles for loss and also registered a forced fumble, an interception and fumble recovery. His 58 tackles (37 solo) were third most on the team.
In his first season starting at middle linebacker, Metheny led UAlbany with 92 tackles (48 solo). The Bethel Park, Pa., native also paced the Great Danes with 9.5 tackles for loss and also recorded both a sack and an interception.
Holmes, a Troy, N.Y., native, burst on the scene as a rookie, catching 50 passes for 734 yards and five touchdowns.
The CAA’s Preseason Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards went to Towson quarterback Tom Flacco and Richmond defensive lineman Maurice Jackson, respectively.
UAlbany was picked to finish 12th in the league’s preseason poll, voted upon by the CAA’s head coaches and media-relations directors. James Madison was picked to win the league, receiving 20 of a possible 24 first-place votes.
“I just think we’ve been so competitive, and before you really get good, you have to be competitive,” Gattuso said. “That’s the way it works when you’re in a great conference. Being around our kids all summer and seeing what we have talent-wise, I think we’re going to be a strong contender this year.”