East Haven, Connecticut, senior safety to receive Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Award at Club's annual Bob Whelan College Football Awards Night, December 17
EASTON, Mass. (November 23, 2015) – Stonehill College senior co-captain Anthony Masucci (East Haven, Connecticut/Notre Dame-West Haven) has been named the NCAA Division II recipient of the 70th annual Nils V. "Swede" Nelson Award for exceptional achievement in sportsmanship, academics and athletics by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston. Masucci will receive the honor at the Club's annual Bob Whelan College Football Awards Night on Thursday, December 17, at the Marriott Hotel in Burlington, Massachusetts.
Masucci, four year letter winner and three year starter at safety for Stonehill, is the second student-athlete in three seasons to receive a major award from the Gridiron Club of Boston after former teammate and All-American Brian Harrington '15 was named the 2013 Joseph P. Zabilski Defensive Player of the Year. Masucci will be joined on the awards dais in December by Stonehill assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Eli Gardner, who has been named the Gridiron Club's Division II Assistant Coach of the Year. Masucci is the first "Swede" Nelson Award recipient in program history at Stonehill.
Masucci, who has earned a 3.59 cumulative grade point average as a finance major and economics minor at Stonehill, is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District I selection and was a semifinalist for the 2015 National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame William V. Campbell Trophy and Scholar-Athlete Awards. He was selected to the Northeast-10 Academic All-Conference team as a junior and has been named to the NE-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll and Athletic Director's Honor Roll all six semesters at the College to date.
Masucci, an All-Northeast-10 second team pick this fall, finished his senior season ranked third on the team with 63 tackles (29 solo), including 4.0 for a loss of 15 yards, with an interception and four pass breakups. He leads a Stonehill defense which ranks second in the NE-10 and 11th nationally in Division II for total defense, allowing just 279.2 yards per game, and second in the Conference for passing defense (17th nationally) at 158.5 yards per game. The Skyhawks lead the NE-10 (23rd) in rushing defense (120.6 yds/gm) and fourth (34th) for scoring defense (20.9 ppg). The defense also ranks eighth nationally for first down defense (14.4 allowed per game) and 15th for third down conversion defense (30.6%).
Masucci, who posted a season-high 11 tackles (seven solo) at the University of New Haven on October 17, has started 32 of the 42 games he played over his Stonehill career, including the last 22 straight. He capped his career with 203 tackles, with 101 solo, including 10.0 for a loss of 54 yards, with 0.5 sacks for a loss of three yards, two forced fumbles, five interceptions and ten pass breakups. Masucci is one of 17 players in program history with over 200 career tackles, posting a career-high 14 stops at Bloomsburg University as a sophomore in 2013.
Stonehill finished 2015 with its second winning season over the past three years, posting a 7-4 record overall, including 5-4 in NE-10 play to finish fourth in the Conference standings. The Skyhawks capped the season with three wins over their last four after a 17-14 win at third place Merrimack College during NE-10 Championship Weekend.