DANBURY, Conn. – The Sacred Heart football team saw a pair of players – RB Julius Chestnut (First Team) and LT J.D. DiRenzo (Second Team) – earn All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors, as announced by the league on Wednesday morning.
Chestnut was previously named All-New England and an All-Northeast Conference First Teamer after leading the NEC in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns and all-purpose yards. He rushed a school record and FCS-leading 293 times for 1495 yards and 11 rushing scores. Chestnut's 1495 single-season rushing total is the second-most in all of FCS as well as the second-highest single-season total in school history. Chestnut tallied nine 100+ yard games on the ground in the 2019 campaign.
A worthy choice along the interior, DiRenzo picks up All-ECAC Second Team honors after being rewarded with All-NEC First Team marks last month. DiRenzo helped anchor a unit that was one of the top pass blocking lines in the country while paving the way for the nation's second-leading rusher in Chestnut. DiRenzo and the SHU offensive line allowed a league-low 11 sacks (seventh-fewest in FCS) while his versatility is noted as the junior transitioned from starting at right tackle in all 11 games last season into an All-NEC First Teamer at left tackle in 2019. He started all 12 games at left tackle this season and heads into his senior year with 23 consecutive starts along the Pioneers' line.
Sacred Heart concluded its 2019 season with a 7-5 overall record and 4-3 mark in the NEC. This is tied for the Pioneers' highest single-season win total since 2013 and marks the sixth winning season for Coach Mark Nofri in his eight-year tenure at the helm for SHU.