HANOVER, N.H. — Last year’s co-winner of the Ivy League’s Bushnell Cup as the conference MVP, Dartmouth running back Nick Schwieger (Norton, Mass.), was a unanimous selection for the 2011 All-Ivy First Team and one of five members of the Big Green squad listed at six positions on the first team, with a total of 10 players receiving All-Ivy honors. Nine of the 10 are seniors, including each of member of the first team — Schwieger, tight end John Gallagher (Salem, Ore.), offensive lineman Ryan O’Neill (Orland Park, Ill.), defensive tackle Eddie Smith (Louisville, Ky.) and Shawn Abuhoff (Hialeah, Fla.), who garnered first-team status as both a cornerback and a return specialist for the second straight year.
Taking a spot on the second team was center Austen Fletcher, while strong safety Joey Casey (Noblesville, Ind.), offensive lineman Kyle Cook (Anaheim, Calif.), placekicker Foley Schmidt (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) and the lone underclassman in linebacker Bronson Green (Los Angeles, Calif.) all received honorable mention.
Ivy champion Harvard led the league with 17 selections, while Brown had 13 and Cornell and Yale tying Dartmouth with 11. The six first-team selections for the Big Green tied for the most in the conference with Brown.
Princeton running back Chuck Dibilio, the first true freshman to rush for 1,000 yards in league history, was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year. The Bushnell Cup, given to the Ivy League Players of the Year on offense and defense for the first time this year, will not be announced until the presentation by the Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Football Officials on Dec. 5 at 11:30 a.m. as part of the festivities surrounding the 54th National Football Foundation Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York.
Schwieger provided quite an encore to his Bushnell Cup junior season by breaking numerous school records to become the fifth Dartmouth player and 39th Ivy League player to earn first-team status three times in a career. In his final season, Schwieger led the league with 1,310 rushing yards, the second most in Big Green history, as well as 1,429 all-purpose yards while running for 10 touchdowns. Eight times he piled up at least 100 rushing yards, a feat accomplished by just four other backs in Ancient Eight history, with a school-record 257 yards in a 33-24 victory over Cornell. He finished his career with 3,150 rushing yards, breaking the Dartmouth record by nearly 900 yards and ranking 12th all-time in league history. In addition, he ran for 26 touchdowns to score 156 points in his career, the sixth most in the Big Green annals, and set a new school standard for all-purpose yards with 4,115 yards.
While Abuhoff did not receive as much action in his senior campaign as he did when he was an All-American last season, he had a profound impact on games as opposing coaches tried to avoid him as much as possible. As a cornerback, he still managed to rank fourth on the team with 47 tackles, 3.5 going for a loss, while intercepting two passes, breaking up six more and forcing three fumbles to lead the league. As a return specialist, he set a Dartmouth record for the longest punt return at 90 yards against Sacred Heart, plus posted the longest non-scoring play in the history of the program when he brought a kickoff back 89 yards before being tackled at the seven against Holy Cross. The Ivy coaches were more wary of his return prowess, as Abuhoff was allowed to return just 15 of 33 kickoffs in conference play. For his career, he had 12 interceptions (one shy of the school record), 32 pass break-ups and 176 tackles, plus set a Dartmouth record with 2,615 yards on kickoff and punt returns.
Gallagher has worked his way up on the All-Ivy teams throughout the years, earning honorable mention as a sophomore and second-team honors last season before being chosen for the first team in 2011. The tight end caught 23 passes — just two shy of the team leader — for 209 yards and a pair of touchdowns coming against Penn and Cornell. He was one of only two Big Green players to catch at least one pass in each of the 10 games (Schwieger being the other). For his career, he played in 39 of the 40 games, starting 37, and caught 81 passes for 741 yards and six TDs.
Earning first-team honors for a second straight year is O’Neill from his spot at left guard on the offensive line. With O’Neill paving the way, Dartmouth allowed the fewest sacks in the league (9), which also ranked among the top 10 in the country. But more importantly to the Big Green offense, his blocking was integral to Schwieger topping 1,000 yards for the second straight year and Dartmouth ranking second in the Ivy League in rushing offense.
Smith received his first All-Ivy honor by making the first team as a senior. The anchor of the defensive line, Smith recorded five of the teams 11 sacks on the season, ranking seventh in the conference. The tackle also led Dartmouth with eight tackles for a loss among his 35 stops. The three-year starter finished his career with 115 tackles, 19 for a loss and 11 for sacks, while recovering two fumbles and blocking a kick.
On the second team for the second straight season, Fletcher started 38 of the 40 games in his career, including the last 37 consecutively. He teamed up with O’Neill to form one of the best blocking tandems in the Ivy League while leading the line in its schemes and assignments.
Among the honorable mentions, Casey led Dartmouth with 88 tackles and three interceptions, plus forced two fumbles, recovered another and broke up five passes. Cook protected the Big Green quarterbacks blind side, starting every game at left tackle, to help keep the sack total down all year. Green was a force at middle linebacker for Dartmouth, making 82 tackles, picking off two passes, forcing one fumble and recovering two more. And for the third straight year, Schmidt was named honorable mention All-Ivy as he converted 11-of-14 field goals with a career-long 46-yarder, plus booted 23-of-26 PATs. He finished his career with 186 points, the fifth most in Dartmouth history.