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RMU's DiMichele tabbed NEC Defensive Player of the Week

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Senior linebacker honored after career-high 19 tackles at Saint Francis

Senior linebacker Alex DiMichele (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Sto-Rox) of the Robert Morris University football team became the third Colonial defensive player in the last four weeks to be honored by the Northeast Conference Monday, as he was tabbed the NEC Defensive Player of the Week.

DiMichele, who earns his second career NEC Defensive Player of the Week accolade, follows in the footsteps of fellow senior linebacker Elias Navarro (Fort Lauderdale, Fla. / South Plantation) and redshirt senior safety Michael Landers (Springdale, Pa. / Springdale) to garner the honor so far in 2010. Navarro was named NEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week Monday, Sept. 13, while Landers took home the same honor last week.

In a 35-14 victory at Saint Francis (10/2) that extended RMU's winning streak to four, DiMichele tied a career-high with 19 tackles while recording an interception and a quarterback hurry. Of his 19 tackles, seven were solo takedowns as well as one for a loss of four yards. DiMichele posted nine tackles in the third quarter alone, and 10 of his stops held the Red Flash to a gain of three yards or less.

At the end of the first half and Robert Morris clinging to a 14-7 lead against Saint Francis, DiMichele recorded his first interception of the season and third of his career. Faced with a 3rd-and-goal from the RMU eight-yard line, DiMichele intercepted Saint Francis quarterback John Kelly at the Colonial two-yard line and returned it 25 yards to help Robert Morris protect its touchdown advantage.

DiMichele, who also finished with 19 tackles in his second game in a Colonial uniform against Bucknell Sept. 13, 2008, leads RMU in tackles so far this season with 53, including 25 solo takedowns. He is also tied for the team lead in passes defended (4) with Landers and ranks third in the NEC in tackles per game (10.6).

Having reached double figures in tackles in 17 of his 26 career games at Robert Morris, DiMichele's performance against the Red Flash pushed him into the top five all-time at RMU for career stops. He enters Saturday's game against Monmouth at Joe Walton Stadium with 278 career tackles, which ranks fourth all-time. 

Led by Joe Walton, the only head coach in the 17-year history of the program, Robert Morris (4-1 / 3-0 NEC) looks to stretch its winning streak to five when it hosts the Hawks for a Noon kickoff Saturday, Oct. 9, at Joe Walton Stadium.

The conference tilt against Monmouth marks the start of four straight home games for the Colonials, as RMU will also host Albany (Oct. 16), Duquesne (Oct. 30) and Central Connecticut State (Nov. 6) during its homestand. Robert Morris has a bye Saturday, Oct. 23.

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