ANNAPOLIS, Md.—The Navy football team has received recognition as eight of its players were named to Phil Steele’s Preseason All-American Athletic Conference team. Senior nose guard Donald Berniard Jr. and junior linebacker Colin Ramos secured spots on the second team. Junior fullback Daba Fofana, junior safety Rayuan Lane III, and junior punter Riley Riethman were named to the third team. Junior offensive tackle Connor McMahon, senior defensive end Jacob Busic, and junior punt returner Amin Hassan earned places on the fourth team.
Berniard, an impressive force on the field, has started in an astonishing 30 consecutive games as the team’s nose guard. Last season, he was recognized as a Phil Steele’s All-American Athletic Conference Third Team member. Berniard concluded the season with 35 tackles, including 4.5 for a loss.
Ramos, a junior linebacker, had an outstanding performance last year, starting in 10 out of 12 games. He finished second on the team in tackles (79), tied for second in tackles for a loss (8.6), and tied for third in sacks (4). This achievement earned him a spot on Phil Steele’s All-American Athletic Conference Third Team.
Fofana, the junior fullback, showcased his skills during the breakout campaign in 2022. Fofana was instrumental in the team’s success, leading Navy in rushing with 769 yards and six rushing touchdowns on 186 carries. As a result, he was named to Phil Steele’s All-American Athletic Conference Fourth Team.
Lane, a junior safety, has been an integral part of the Navy football team, starting in all 24 games of his career and maintaining a streak of 18 consecutive starts. Last year, he ranked third on the team in tackles (71) and pass breakups (4). Additionally, Lane contributed two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a sack.
Riethman, the junior punter, holds the top spot on the Navy career punting leaderboard, averaging 43.2 yards per punt over two seasons. In the previous year, he punted 45 times, maintaining an average of 43.8 yards per punt, which stands as the third-best single-season average in the school’s history. Riethman impressively placed 11 of his punts inside the 20-yard line and booted 13 punts for 50 yards or more.
McMahon, projected to start as the team’s left tackle this year, garnered valuable experience by creating ten games during his sophomore season.
Busic, the senior defensive end, has consistently proven himself as a key contributor to the team. He has started in 24 consecutive games for Navy and earned several accolades, including First-Team All-East, an Honorable Mention All-American Athletic Conference selection, and Third-Team All-AAC honors by Phil Steele in the previous season. Busic recorded six sacks, eight tackles for loss, and 38 total tackles, finishing as the team’s second-best in both sacks and tackles for loss.
Hassan, who also started six games at slotback, displayed his skills as a punt returner. Ranking 18th in the country with an average of 8.8 yards per punt return, Hassan returned 15 punts for 132 yards throughout the season.
The Navy football team, filled with talented players, will kick off its 2023 campaign on August 26 with an exciting matchup against Notre Dame. The game will be held at the sold-out Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Fans can secure their spots at the six home games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium by purchasing season and single-game tickets. Tickets are currently available for purchase through the official Navy Athletics website (https://tinyurl.com/bd3tfjuj) or by calling 1-800-US4-NAVY.
Including eight Navy football players on Phil Steele’s Preseason All-American Athletic Conference team highlights the exceptional talent within the program. These athletes have consistently demonstrated their skills and contributed to the team’s success in various positions on the field.
Donald Berniard Jr., the senior nose guard, has been a reliable and formidable presence, starting in an impressive 30 consecutive games. His recognition on Phil Steele’s All-American Athletic Conference Third Team last year is a testament to his abilities. Berniard’s performance included 35 tackles, with 4.5 tackles for a loss.
Colin Ramos, a junior linebacker, made a significant impact in the previous season, starting in 10 out of 12 games. He displayed his versatility and playmaking abilities by ranking second on the team in tackles (79), tied for second in tackles for a loss (8.6), and tied for third in sacks (4). Ramos’ contributions earned him a spot on Phil Steele’s All-American Athletic Conference Third Team.
The junior fullback, Daba Fofana emerged as a key player during the 2022 campaign. Leading the team in rushing with 769 yards and six rushing touchdowns on 186 carries, Fofana played a vital role in Navy’s offensive success. As a result, he received recognition on Phil Steele’s All-American Athletic Conference Fourth Team.
Rayuan Lane III, a junior safety, has established himself as a consistent starter, participating in all 24 games of his career and maintaining an 18-game starting streak. Lane’s performances have been instrumental in the team’s defensive efforts. In the previous season, he recorded 71 tackles, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a sack.
Riley Riethman, the junior punter, has showcased exceptional skills in the punting game. With a career average of 43.2 yards per punt, Riethman leads the Navy career punting leader board. Last season, he punted 45 times, maintaining an average of 43.8 yards per punt, which stands as the third-best single-season average in the school’s history. Riethman’s precision was evident with 11 punts placed inside the 20-yard line and 13 punts exceeding 50 yards.
Connor McMahon, a junior offensive tackle, gained valuable experience as a sophomore, starting in 10 games. His consistent performance and growth make him a projected starter at left tackle for the upcoming season.Jacob Busic, the senior defensive end, has been an indispensable part of the Navy defense, starting in 24 consecutive games. Busic’s contributions earned him several accolades, including First-Team All-East, Honorable Mention All-American Athletic Conference selection, and Third-Team All-AAC honors by Phil Steele. Last season, he recorded six sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss, and 38 total tackles.
Amin Hassan, a junior punt returner who also started six games at slot back, showcased his skills in special teams. Ranking 18th in the country with an average of 8.8 yards per punt return, Hassan provided valuable field position for the team. Throughout the season, he returned 15 punts for a total of 132 yards.
As the 2023 season approaches, Navy football fans eagerly anticipate the team’s opening game against Notre Dame on August 26. The highly anticipated match will occur at the sold-out Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, and promises to be an exciting showdown between two renowned football programs. Navy’s participation in such a prestigious event reflects the team’s reputation and the global reach of college football.
For fans looking to support the Navy football team throughout the season, tickets for the six home games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium are currently available for purchase. Whether attending individual games or securing season tickets, fans can experience the thrill of live football action and cheer on their favorite players.
To purchase tickets, interested fans can visit the official Navy Athletics website at https://tinyurl.com/bd3tfjuj. Alternatively, they can call 1-800-US4-NAVY to reserve their seats and be part of the vibrant atmosphere at the stadium.
Navy’s representation on Phil Steele’s Preseason All-American Athletic Conference team is a testament to the talent and dedication of the players. These athletes have consistently showcased their abilities and contributed to the team’s success. Their recognition further strengthens Navy’s position as a formidable contender within the conference.
As the season approaches, the coaching staff and players work tirelessly to prepare for the challenges ahead. The team will focus on refining their strategies, improving their skills, and building upon their past achievements. Navy’s football program is known for its discipline, teamwork, and commitment to excellence, which will undoubtedly be on full display during the upcoming season.
With the support of their dedicated fanbase, Navy football aims to achieve new heights and make their mark in the highly competitive landscape of college football. As the season progresses, fans can look forward to witnessing the exceptional performances of players like Donald Berniard Jr., Colin Ramos, Daba Fofana, Rayuan Lane III, Riley Riethman, Connor McMahon, Jacob Busic, and Amin Hassan.
The Navy football team’s journey begins on August 26 when they face off against Notre Dame in Dublin, Ireland. The anticipation for this highly anticipated game is palpable, as fans eagerly await the clash between these two historic programs. With its vibrant atmosphere and international backdrop, the Aviva Stadium will set the stage for an unforgettable matchup.
As the season unfolds, Navy football enthusiasts will have the opportunity to witness their team’s determination, skill, and unwavering spirit in each game. The camaraderie among players, the strategic prowess of the coaching staff, and the steadfast support of the fans will all contribute to the Navy football experience.
In conclusion, including eight Navy football players on Phil Steele’s Preseason All-American Athletic Conference team is a testament to their talent and dedication. With a rich history and a promising roster, Navy football is poised for an exciting and successful season. Fans are encouraged to secure their tickets and be part of the action as the team takes to the field to compete against top-tier opponents. The upcoming season holds the promise of thrilling moments, unforgettable performances, and the pursuit of excellence by the Navy football team.