#18 Fordham FCS Football 2017 Preview


Fordham Rams


Overall Rank: #18

#2 Patriot

Despite an 8-3 record with losses to Navy, on the road in overtime to Monmouth and at eventual Patriot League champions Lehigh, Fordham was left out of the FCS Playoffs. They certainly had a case for an at-large bid, but the lack of a quality win kept them out in the end. This time around the Rams will hope to unseat Lehigh and not leave anything in the hands of the committee.
2016 Record: 8-3, 5-1
2016 Postseason: None
Coach: Andrew Breiner (8-3 at Fordham, 8-3 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Andrew Breiner
Defensive Coordinator: John Bowes
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Chase Edmonds, RB, 1,799 yards
Passing: Kevin Anderson, QB, 2,724 yards
Receiving: Austin Longi, WR, 774 yards
Tackles: Caleb Ham, DB, 62
Sacks: Max Roberts, LB, 4.5
Interceptions: Caleb Ham, DB, 3
Other Key Returnees: WR Corey Caddle, TE Isaiah Searight, OL Anthony Coyle, OL Ben Hartman, DB Antonio Jackson, DB Lawrence Menyah
Key Losses: RB Kendall Pearcey, WR Robbie Cantelli, LB George Dawson, DL Brandon Weir, DB Jihaad Pretlow, LB David Barletta, DL Justin Vaughn
Fordham ranked fourth in the FCS in total offense and scoring offense last season. And with eight starters returning, this is a Rams team that can be even more potent offensively in 2017. It starts with running back Chase Edmonds, who rushed for 1,799 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior. Edmonds was an All-American last season and it would be a surprise if he didn’t end his senior season in the same fashion. With four starters returning to the offensive line, Edmonds could be eyeing a 2,000 yard campaign. Quarterback Kevin Anderson also returns after throwing for 2,724 yards and 27 touchdowns. But the most impressive thing about Anderson is his efficiency. He completed 61.8 percent of his passes and threw just four interceptions. Anderson will miss big play receiver Robbie Cantelli, who caught 37 passes for 634 yards and 13 touchdowns. Austin Longi was the team’s top receiver last season with 59 receptions for 774 yards and Corey Caddle is a proven target as well.
The defense has a few more holes to fill and a little more room to improve. The front seven returns just three starters from last season. Manny Adeyeye has had to deal with injuries during his collegiate career, but he has been very productive when healthy and anchors the line at the nose tackle position. Max Roberts is the team’s best pass rusher and tallied 4.5 sacks last season. Linebacker Noah Fitzgerald tallied 33 tackles and found himself on the end of some big plays and managed to recover four fumbles. The secondary will be the most experienced unit on the team. Safety Caleb Ham is the team’s top returning tackler with 62 and he intercepted a team high three passes as well. Fellow safety Antonio Jackson was right behind him with 56 tackles and two interceptions. With Lawrence Menyah providing experienced depth and Dylan Mabin returning to a starting spot at cornerback, Fordham has a secondary that can carry the defense.
The Bottom Line:
Fordham has a couple big games early against Army and Eastern Washington. If the Rams have any hopes of losing out on the automatic berth to the playoffs and earning an at-large bid, they almost have to win one of those two games. Once again the toughest Patriot League foe should be Lehigh. Forham hosts the Mountain Hawks on October 28th. However, a trip to Colgate sandwiched between two other road games at Lafayette and Georgetown will not be easy either. If Fordham can manage to beat Lehigh, they will likely win the conference title and not get another shot at the playoffs.
Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs
2016 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 229.7 (12th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 268.5 (18, 2)
Total Offense: 498.2 (4, 1)
Scoring Offense: 40.1 (4, 1)
Rushing Defense: 186.5 (80, 5)
Pass Defense: 192.8 (34, 2)
Total Defense: 379.3 (52, 3)
Scoring Defense: 30.1 (81, 5)
Turnover Margin: 1.18 (7, 1)
Sacks: 3.00 (11, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 2.55 (84, 4)
HERO Sports 2017 Recruit Rankings:
#217 Anthony Diodato