Providence, R.I. – Brown senior guard Nathan Bernstein (Charlotte, NC), senior defensive back AJ Cruz (Lake Forest, CA), junior defensive end Michael Yules (South Dartmouth, MA) and senior linebacker Stephen Zambetti (Germantown, TN) were named to the 2012 Division I FCS All-New England Football Team. They will be honored at the New England Football Writers' Captains and Awards Banquet on Thursday, December 6 at the Montvale Plaza in Stoneham, Mass.
Cruz was recently named a finalist for the Asa S. Bushnell Cup, which will be presented to the Ivy League Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year on December 3 at a 12:30 pm press conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. He is one of 41 players in Ivy League football history to have been selected First Team All-Ivy three times, and is the tenth Brown player to be named First Team All-Ivy three times. He was also a Second Team All-Ivy selection as a freshman and earned All-Ivy honors as a return specialist in 2012. An exceptional cover corner, Cruz intercepted 12 passes throughout his Brown career, fourth best in Brown football history. He ranked second on the team in 2012 with 71 total tackles, and intercepted four passes, second best in the Ivy League. Cruz intercepted two passes in Brown's shutout win over Yale and had one each against Holy Cross and Cornell.
A First Team All-Ivy selection, Bernstein played a major role in the Brown offensive line that yielded just one sack per game, 18th best in the nation. With injuries to the offensive line and tailback position, Bernstein helped the offensive line to four straight games without a sack to end the season, and did not allow a sack in 7-of-10 games. In addition, Brown's 4.4 yards per rush ranked second in the Ivy League.
Recognized as one of the outstanding linebackers in the Ivy League, earning First Team All-Ivy honors, Zambetti led the Bears and ranked third in the Ivy League in tackles with 8.9 per game. He led a Brown defensive unit that ranked 11th nationally in rushing defense (113.1 yards per game), and seventh nationally in scoring defense (16.6 ppg). He registered a career high 14 tackles against Princeton and had 12 tackles against both Holy Cross and Columbia. Zambetti had seven tackles for a loss, including two against both Columbia and Princeton.
Yules, who attended Moses Brown School in Providence, earned Second Team All-Ivy honors in 2012 and had a dominant year for the Bears. He ranked 13th nationally with 13 tackles for a loss of 59 yards, made 32 tackles overall, and ranked fourth in the Ivy League with 6.5 quarterback sacks. Yules was named the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week after he led the Brown defense that held Georgetown to one yard of total offense in the second half and zero first downs after halftime. He had two quarterback sacks for a loss of 13 yards and added another tackle for a loss against the Hoyas.