Altamura Named D3football All-American; Finalist for Cliff Harris Award
Montclair, NJ – It was a double dose of good news on Friday for Montclair State senior linebacker MAURO ALTAMURA. The 2018 NJAC Defensive Player of the Year was selected to the D3football.com All-America Team and was also named a finalist for the Cliff Harris presented to the top defensive player in the country representing Division II, III and NAIA. Altamura was named to the D3football.com Third Team becoming the first MSU selection since Bill Shimko in 2015. He is the first linebacker to be chosen since Dan Avento in 2011 and claims the 21st All-America honor from the organization since its inception in 1999. Altamura, selected First Team All-Region by D3football last week, was a Third-Team selection and helped the Red Hawks to their best season in four years finishing 8-2 reaching the eight-win mark for the 21st time in school history and first since 2014. MSU, picked to finish eighth in the Preseason Coaches Poll, was third in the final league stands at 7-2 with its two losses coming by a combined 10 points to league champion and NCAA Playoff participant Frostburg State and ECAC Bowl representative Salisbury. Altamura, an Academic All-District honoree by CoSIDA, finished with 92 total tackles, 53 unassisted and 18 tackles for loss totaling 57 yards. A NJAC Defensive Player of the Week selection, he also registered four sacks, an interception, three passes defended, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. Altamura, who had eight or more tackles in eight of 10 games, led the league in tackles for loss and was third in total tackles. He had 14 stops in MSU's win over Southern Virginia and posted 11 in a 17-14 overtime win at Christopher Newport. Altamura recorded 14 tackles, including 4.5 for loss and a blocked punt that turned into a touchdown in the 18-15 loss to Salisbury.