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2016 Home News Tribune All-Area Football Defensive Teams
by WoodbridgeFootball.com / MyCentralJersey.com / NJ.com on 12/11/16
Greg Tufaro & Marcus Borden5:02 p.m. EST December 10, 2016
DL Lance Rice, Edison, Sr.
If you were at the Thanksgiving crosstown rivalry game between the Eagles and J.P. Stevens, you would have thought that the entire Edison defense was wearing No. 50. Rice’s 11 tackles, seven tackles for a loss and three sacks were an exclamation point as the senior finished his career with a thumping of the Hawks. His final 2016 tally included 113 tackles, 21 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and one fumble recovery.
DL Abdel Mohamed, Piscataway, Sr.
Piscataway’s dominant offensive and defensive line was led by Mohammed’s 39 tackles, 19 hits behind the line of scrimmage and 8.5 sacks and one fumble recovery. If you dared single block him on the inside, your backfield felt the brunt of this massive athletic tackle that made you pay the price for the oversight.
DL Andre Eldridge, South Brunswick, Sr.
A solid three-year, two-way offensive and defensive performer for the Vikings, Eldridge helped South Brunswick win the state championship in 2015 and continue their six-year playoff run. His 39 tackles, six tackles for a loss, five sacks and one fumble recovery vaulted his team to the Central Group V semifinals.
DL Ibn Robinson, Piscataway, Sr.
Robinson, quite arguably, was the league’s most dominant DE who was a force down the stretch for the Chiefs’ playoff run, culminating in their Central Group V championship win over Manalapan. His 58 tackles, 31 hits behind the line of scrimmage, 10.5 sacks, 10 quarterback pressures, one fumble recovery and five tipped passes made him a nightmare for opposing offensive coordinators.
DL Jean Sapini, South Plainfield, Sr.
Sapini was an every down, two-way performer for the Tigers who led South Plainfield to the Central Group III final with 63 tackles, three tackles for a loss and five sacks on defense while scoring six touchdowns on 36 catches for 545 yards as a tight end. He was a devastating blocker on offense and always required a double team on defense.
LB Quartius Byrd, Carteret, Sr.
A 1,000-yard rusher on offense while splitting time at tailback, Byrd led the Ramblers' resurgence in 2016 as a solid two-way performer who made an impact on defense too. His 57 tackles, one tackle for a loss, 1.5 sacks and three caused fumbles allowed Carteret to return to the North 2 Group III playoffs in 2016.
LB Luke Yakely, St. Joseph, Sr.
A four-year starter who has served as the face of the program, Yakely just may be the most team-oriented player in the GMC. His old-school toughness as a runner or linebacker was never more evident than this season, as the Falcons overcame unfathomable injuries to key players while he quietly went about leading his team to an undefeated season. He had 91 tackles, three sacks, one interception for a touchdown while rushing for 559 yards and 10 touchdowns for nearly seven yards a carry.
LB Michael Germann, Sayreville, Jr.
If you heard the loud crack of shoulder pads at any of the Bombers' big games, you knew the culprit was No. 44 Michael Germann dishing out punishment on the opposition. His team-leading 56 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss and one sack helped Sayreville capture the North 2 Group IV championship against Middletown North.
LB Dillon Harris, South Plainfield, Sr.
Harris so matter-of-factly explained his role in a preseason interview with the GMC Camp Caravan, “My job is to take care of the middle of the defense,” and that he did, while anchoring the defense for the Tigers, who advanced to the Central Group III title game at Rutgers. He led his team with 94 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions.
DB Jah’Bree Seawright-Jeffrey, New Brunswick, Sr.
It's not often that you have your quarterback playing on defense, unless he is a gifted and talented athlete. Seawright-Jeffrey threw for 1,547 yards and 18 touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball he played free safety recording 35 tackles and three interceptions for the Zebras, who played their first year in the GMC Red Division.
DB Brevin Donerson, Piscataway, Sr.
If you were not in attendance at Piscataway’s rematch with undefeated Manalapan in the Central Group V final, you missed an epic performance by No. 7 Brevin Donerson. He led the Chiefs' defense that morning with eight tackles, two hits behind the line of scrimmage, had one forced fumble, intercepted a pass and had two pass break ups. His final 2016 statistics prove that he was not a one hit wonder as he recorded 77 tackles, 16 hits behind the line of scrimmage, four forced fumbles, four recovered fumbles and three interceptions along with four defensive scores.
DB Nazir James, Piscataway, Sr.
A solid two-way performer, James as a wide receiver had 17 catches for 260 yards and three touchdowns, while on defense he recorded 27 tackles with eight hits behind the line of scrimmage, three interceptions and two tipped passes. He was one of the reasons the Chiefs were successful in shutting down the Manalapan passing game in the Central Group V final, making it one-dimensional.
ATH Roderic Carson, St. Joseph, Sr.
If you were looking to find the perfect fit for an all-star defense opposite Piscataway’s Ibn Robinson, Carson would be your answer. He is quick, athletic and can easily chase the play down from behind if you run away from him. He led the team with 88 tackles with 37 of them for a loss, 10 sacks and four forced fumbles.
ATH TJ Townsend, Old Bridge, Sr.
A mountain of a man, Townsend anchored the offensive and defensive line for the Knights, who made it to the Central Group V semifinals. Much of teammate Nick Sodano’s 1,346 rushing yards came behind the athletic guard’s ability to pull and lead the charge. Defensively, he often forced a double team by the opposition but was still able to make 46 tackles, nine tackles for a loss and two sacks.
KR/PR Nasir Boykins, Highland Park, Sr.
Boykins was one of the key playmakers for the Owls as they finished above .500 for the first time since 2009. He rushed for 1046 yards with 18 touchdowns, had three receiving touchdowns and scored on a kickoff return and punt return in 2016. Defensively his 91 tackles, 19 for a loss, three caused fumbles, two recovered fumbles and three sacks all occurred as an outside linebacker whereas his natural position is a defensive back.