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Courtesy: Monmouth University Photo


Courtesy: Monmouth Sports Information
Release: November 07, 2011
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SOMERSET, N.J.- Monmouth University sophomore Mitchell Pollard (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) and freshman Julian Hayes (Middletown, Conn./Xavier/The Hun School) each picked up Northeast Conference Weekly Awards for their performances in Monmouth's 48-45 win over Saint Francis last weekend.

"Mitchell is an explosive player," said MU Head Coach Kevin Callahan.  "His big play capability is a tremendous asset to our special teams play."

Pollard earns his first career Special Teams Player of the Week after he returned a third-quarter punt for 52 yards and a touchdown against the Red Flash.  The sophomore wideout became the first Hawk to return a punt for a touchdown since Kevin Faulkner returned one against Robert Morris in 2002.  Pollard, who totaled two returns for 59 yards in the Hawks' eventual 48-45 win, owns the longest return the NEC has seen thus far this season, having taken a punt back for a 57-yard gain against Colgate (Oct. 8).  Pollard is just one of two NEC players to return a punt for a TD this season.

For his effort he was also named College Football Performance Award (CFPA) National Punt Returner of the Week.  Pollard led the Hawks in all purpose yards with 162, adding 53 receiving yards on five catches.  The sophomore owns two of the five longest punt returns in school history.

"Julian has improved every week," said Callahan.  "He seems to have gotten strong as the season goes on.  He has a knack for finding the endzone and getting tough yards for us."

Hayes picks up his second NEC Rookie of the Week honor in the last three weeks after rushing for career highs in touchdowns and yardage in the win over the Red Flash. Hayes carried the ball 26 times for a career-high 128 yards in a victory that moved Monmouth within 1.0 game of first place in the league standings.  Hayes, who reached pay dirt three times during a Week 8 win over Sacred Heart, logged a pair of first-half touchdowns (3, 2) to help the Hawks hold a 27-17 lead at the break.  He ripped off a career-long 26-yard scoring scamper to bump the Hawks' advantage to 41-31 with 2:37 left in the third quarter.  As Monmouth found itself trailing, 45-41, midway through the final period, Hayes scored what proved-to-be the game-winner from seven yards out.

The Middletown, Conn. native has now scored 10 touchdowns in the last four games, while his 13 scores in 2011 ties him for fourth most in a single season with MU great David Sinisi.  His 78 points this season is also eighth most in school history and Hayes is now ranked third in the NEC in rushing touchdowns.

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