Brown Football Players Earn All-Ivy Honors
Nov. 26, 2002
Six Brown football players were named to the 2002 All-Ivy Football Team as selected by the eight Ancient Eight football coaches.
Senior All-American wide receiver Chas Gessner (Hyattsville, MD) was a first team All-Ivy selection, while senior runningback Joe Rackley (Richmond, VA) earned second team All-Ivy honors. Senior tight end Chris Walther (Lake Oswego, OR), senior linebacker Joel Barone (Shirley, NY), senior outside linebacker Jeremiah Watts (Greenbelt, MD), and senior safety Hunter Young (Bethesda, MD) were honorable mention All-Ivy selections.
A two-time Payton Award finalist as the nation's top I-AA player, Gessnerled the nation with 11.4 receptions per game, completing the 2002 season114 receptions, third best in NCAA I-AA history, behind Brown's Stephen Campbell (120) and URI's Brian Forester (115).
His average of 11.4 receptions per game is also third in I-AA history. Gessner's 292 career receptions are 4th in NCAA I-AA history, and second in the Ivy League record book, while his 36 career touchdown receptions are second best in Ivy football history and 10th in NCAA I-AA history. Gessner completed his career with 3,408 career receiving yards, 18th in I-AA history.
Against Rhode Island, Gesner tied the 19-year old NCAA I-AA record of 24 receptions, a record held by legendary NFL wide receiver Jerry Rice. Gessner made 14 catches in the first half alone against the Rams. He hauled in 24 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns (12 yards, 14 yards), and was named the National I-AA Offensive Player of the Week by The Sports Network, the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week, and the New England Football Writers Gold Helmet Award Winner. His 24 pass receptions ties the mark held by Mississippi Valley's Jerry Rice against Southern University on October 1, 1983.
Rackley played most of the season with a severe hamstring injury, but returned to health late in the season to rush for 100 or more yards in each of Brown's final three games. He rushed for a career high 148 yards and a touchdown against Dartmouth, and scored on a two-yard run with 1:02 remaining to lift Brown to a victory over Columbia, finishing the game with 101 yards on 27 carries. For the season, Rackley rushed for 572 yards and five touchdowns on 150 carries.
Barone, a second team All-Ivy selection a year ago, led the Bears in tackles for the second consecutive season with 76 total tackles (49 solo, 27 assists). He made a game high 16 tackles against Harvard, including 8 solo hits, and registered 10 tackles (5 solo, 5 assists) against Rhode Island. An honorable mention All-American in 2001, Barone picked off a pass on the final play of the season to preserve Brown's victory over Columbia.
Walther earned a starting role for the offense in 2002 and responded with a strong season, making 35 catches for 345 yards, including a long reception of 25 yards. He also caught three touchdown passes, including an 8-yard TD reception against Columbia in Brown's final game.
Watts earned honorable mention All-Ivy honors a year ago, and was Brown's second leading tackler in 2002 with 73 total hits (46 solo, 27 assists), including 7 tackles for a loss of 29 yards. Watts made 10 tackles in Brown's final game against Columbia, including a quarterback sack and a tackle for a loss. He also registered 10 tackles against Penn and Princeton, including a key third down sack late in the game against the Tigers. Watts led the Bears with 12 tackles against Rhode Island, including nine solo hits.
Young was a second team All-Ivy selection a year ago, and finished the season as Brown's third leading tackler with 56 total tackles, including 34 solo tackles and 22 assists. He made 13 tackles against Harvard, including a quarterback sack, after registering a game-high 12 tackles against Towson, including one for a loss of three yards. Young registered seven tackles against Rhode Island.
2002 All-Ivy Football Team First Team Offense Wide Receiver *Carl Morris, Harvard Wide Receiver Rob Milanese, Penn Wide Receiver Chas Gessner, Brown Tight End *Casey Cramer, Dartmouth Offensive Line *Kevin Noone, Dartmouth Offensive Line *Jamil Soriano, Harvard Offensive Line Chris Clark, Penn Offensive Line Jack Fadule, Harvard Offensive Line David Farrell, Yale Quarterback Mike Mitchell, Penn Running Back *Cameron Atkinson, Princeton Running Back *Robert Carr, Yale Fullback Nate Archer, Cornell Fullback Scott Wedum, Dartmouth Kicker * Peter Veldman, Penn
First Team Defense Defensive Line *Chris Pennington, Penn Defensive Line Joe Weiss, Princeton Defensive Line Jason Lange, Yale Defensive Line Pete Combe, Cornell Linebacker *Travis Belden, Penn Linebacker *Zak Keasey, Princeton Linebacker Steve Lhotak, Penn Linebacker Dante Balestracci, Harvard Defensive Back *Vince Alexander, Penn Defensive Back Fred Plaza, Penn Defensive Back Kevin Kongslie, Princeton Defensive Back Philip Murray, Columbia Punter Alex Ware, Dartmouth
Asa S. Bushnell Cup (Player of the Year) Carl Morris, Harvard Wide Recceiver
Rookie of the Year Josh Dooley, Dartmouth Linebacker
Second Team Offense Wide Receiver Jay Barnard, Dartmouth Wide Receiver Chisom Opara, Princeton Wide Receiver Keith Ferguson, Cornell Tight End Nate Lawrie, Yale Offensive Line Pat Girardi, Columbia Offensive Line Kevin Boothe, Cornell Offensive Line Kyle Metzler, Yale Offensive Line Ben Noll, Penn Offensive Line Lance Baird, Princeton Quarterback Brian Mann, Dartmouth Running Back Joe Rackley, Brown Running Back Stephen Faulk, Penn Kicker Trevor MacMeekin, Cornell
Second Team Defense Defensive Line Mike Armstrong, Harvard Defensive Line Ryan Strahendorf, Penn Defensive Line Tim Kirby, Princeton Defensive Line Stuart Satullo, Yale Linebacker Nate Spitler, Cornell Linebacker John Perry, Harvard Linebacker Ken Estrera, Yale Linebacker Joel Sussman, Cornell Linebacker Drew Babinecz, Princeton Defensive Back Jay McCareins, Princeton Defensive Back Clayton Smith, Dartmouth Defensive Back Brandon Mueller, Princeton Defensive Back Barton Simmons, Yale Punter Nick Rudd, Columbia
Honorable Mention Offense Tight End Chris Walther, Brown Offensive Line Chris Kupchick, Penn Offensive Line Bob Reeves, Dartmouth Offensive Line Rory Hennessey, Yale Offensive Line Matt Dukes, Penn Offensive Line Roger Patterson, Princeton Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harvard Quarterback Neil Rose, Harvard Running Back Marcus Blanks Cornell
Honorable Mention Defense Defensive Line Ric San Doval, Penn Defensive Line Jeff Roether, Columbia Defensive Line Erick Tyrone, Columbia Defensive Line Luke Mraz, Yale Defensive Line Mark Patterson, Yale Linebacker Joel Barone, Brown Linebacker Chris Carey, Columbia Linebacker Jeremiah Watts, Brown Linebacker Brad Kitlowski, Cornell Defensive Back Chris Raftery, Harvard Defensive Back Kevin Stefanski, Penn Defensive Back Blake Perry, Princeton Defensive Back Hunter Young, Brown Defensive Back Niall Murphy, Harvard Defensive Back Pat McManus, Penn Punter Josh Appell, Penn