2018 CAA Football All-Conference Team
KINGSTON, R.I. – Junior wide receiver Aaron Parker and junior left tackle Kyle Murphy each earned CAA Football First Team All-Conference honors, the league announced Tuesday afternoon. They are the first Rhode Island players to be named to the first team since 2015.
Redshirt senior quarterback JaJuan Lawson, senior Tyler Burke and junior Ahmere Dorsey all earned second team recognition for the Rams.
Parker exploded for this season, leading all CAA Football players in receiving yards, receiving yards per game and touchdown receptions. He finished the season with 61 catches for 955 yards and 10 touchdowns. He led Rhode Island with 66 points scored, as he also rushed for one touchdown.
Parker was 15th in the nation with his 10 touchdown catches, becoming the seventh player in program history with at least 10 in one season. He also was 24th in the nation with 955 receiving yards, the sixth most in a season by a Ram. Parker was 30th in the nation with 5.5 catches per game.
Murphy dominated the opposition at his left tackle spot, where he started 10 games this season. The only game he did not start was against William & Mary, when he moved to center while Dwayne Scott recovered from an injury. Despite playing in heavy rain conditions, Murphy did not have any ball control issues in the center-quarterback exchange and Rhody had no turnovers en route to a 21-10 victory over the Tribe. Murphy was a major reason the Rams averaged 121.6 rushing yards per game, their best average since 2013. Rhody also ran for 15 touchdowns, the team's highest total in 11 seasons. Murphy had 40 pancake blocks on the season.
Despite missing 4.5 games due to injury, Lawson was the sparkplug for Rhode Island's first winning season in 17 years. A two-time CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week, he ranked 40th in the country and third in the conference in points responsible for (132). On average, he produced 18.9 points per game, which was higher the CAA Football Offensive Player of the Year Tom Flacco, who averaged 17.5 per game. Lawson's average per game would have ranked eighth in the country if he played enough games to qualify.
Lawson set URI's single-season completion record (66.7 percent) and was responsible for 22 touchdowns (17 passing, five rushing). He became only the second quarterback in program history with at least 17 touchdown passes in one season. The legendary Tom Ehrhardt did so twice. Lawson led the league in passing efficiency (165.53), was second in touchdown passes (17), fifth in passing yards (1,711), second in passing yards per game (244.4) and second in total offense per game (269.0).
Burke started all 11 games for the Rams and was a big part of the offense and special teams. He had 15 catches for 238 yards and led the team with 15.9 yards per reception. He tied for third on the team with three touchdown receptions, including a 57-yard touchdown catch and run at Delaware in the season opener. Burke also played on every special teams unit, had five tackles in special teams coverage and was a physical presence in the running game.
Dorsey ranked second in the league in punt return average at 11.1 yards per return. He had a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown in the win over Albany – for which he was the CAA Special Teams Player of the Week – and his 234 punt return yards were the fourth highest single-season total in program history.
Dorsey was dynamic in the kick return game as well, ranking second in the conference and ninth in the country with 28.4 yards per return. He was the only player in the league to return both a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown, and he had two kick returns for scores. Dorsey led the nation in combined special teams yards with 1,085. He is the only player in program history with more than 1,000 return yards in one season.