HANOVER, N.H. — The College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) unveiled its top performers of the 2010 season, and Dartmouth junior Shawn Abuhoff was given the Punt Returner Award as the top punt returner in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS, formerly I-AA). The CFPA touts itself on providing "the most scientifically rigorous conferments in college football,” with recipients being “selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings … to eliminate the politics and biases that vitiate balloting-based awards.”
Less than a month ago, Abuhoff was also named a first-team All-American as a return specialist by The Sports Network and a third-teamer by Phil Steele’s College Football. He was also selected for the All-Ivy first team at two positions — return specialist and defensive back.
Abuhoff (Hialeah, Fla.) was third in the nation in punt return average at 17.2 yards on 18 returns for 310 yards while bringing back three punts for touchdowns of 41, 76 and 82 yards, tying a single-season Dartmouth record. No other FCS player brought back more punts for scores this season. Among the FCS active career leaders (including graduating seniors), Abuhoff is listed in the top 15 in each of the six statistical categories for punt returns. He is tied for first in touchdowns (3), third in average per return (11.91), sixth in yards (548), eighth in yards per game (18.3), and 14th in both returns (46) and returns per game (1.5).
His first touchdown on a punt return came against Yale in the Big Green’s fourth game. Dartmouth trailed the Bulldogs, 20-13, with little more than six minutes to play when he fielded a short punt at the Elis’ 41 and took it to the house, allowing the Green to tie the game.
Three weeks later, Abuhoff scored Dartmouth’s first points against Harvard with an 82-yard punt return to the end zone, the fourth longest punt return in Big Green history and longest in 19 years. He provided another long return for a touchdown against Brown, sprinting 76 yards to give Dartmouth an 11-point lead late in the third quarter. The touchdown returns against both the Crimson and the Bears were among the 10 longest punt returns in the FCS this season.