COLUMBUS, Ohio – The final announcement for offensive portion of the Ohio Dominican Football All-Decade team comes from the pass catching positions.
Seven current and former wide receivers, along with five former tight ends were nominated for the program's all-decade team. Three receivers were selected, with Cory Contini (2015-18) and Dez Stewart (2011-15) both recording over 50% of the fan vote. Current senior, David Turner (2016-present), was also voted to the team. Wyatt McLeod (2014-18) was picked as the top tight end over the past 10 years.
Contini, a three-time academic All-American, hauled in 201 passes for a school-record 3,239 yards and 38 touchdowns. His pass reception count ranks second all-time. The Dover, Ohio native ranks second in school history with an average of 16.11 yards per reception. Contini's 39 total touchdowns are the most in program history, while his 234 points ranks second all-time.
Contini caught 50-plus passes in each of his final three seasons with the football team, which led to a trio of all-conference selections, four all-region accolades, two G-MAC player of the year awards, and one all-American nomination. In his final season, Contini was also a nominee for the Harlon Hill trophy, an award given to the top NCAA Division II football student-athlete.
The 2018 campaign saw Contini catch 54 passes for 950 yards and a career-best 16 touchdowns. The wide out had four career games with three-plus TD catches, including a school-record five scores against Alderson Broaddus (9/29/18). Contini added over 900 yards in both 2016 and 2017 as well, including 1,186 yards in 2017, which ranks third in school history. Contini played a vital role in ODU's 2017 Great Midwest championship as well, recording 180 yards and three scores against Findlay in the season finale.
Additional school records for Contini include 19.83 yards per catch in 2016, 7.2 receptions per game in 2017 and a 20.62 punt return average in 2018.
Contini, along with Stewart were both invited to several NFL training camps after their play at Ohio Dominican. Contini also spent the shortened 2020 collegiate baseball season with the Panthers, where he batted .306 with 10 runs scored, five RBI and four stolen bases in just 13 games.
Stewart spent five seasons with the Black & Gold from 2011 to 2015, finishing with 196 catches for 3,197 yards and 25 touchdowns. The Cincinnati, Ohio native ranks second all-time in receiving yards, third in receptions and fourth in scores. His 14.25 yards per punt return average is also a career school record.
The two-time preseason All-American was chosen for three all-GLIAC awards, as well as four all-region teams. Stewart made over 50 catches in 2013, 2014 and 2015, including a career-high 68 receptions as a senior. With over 800 yards in his final three seasons, Stewart's 2014 total of 1,156 yards ranks fourth most for a single season at ODU.
Stewart played a key role in the Panthers' back-to-back GLIAC South championships in 2013 and 2014. ODU qualified for the NCAA Division II Playoffs both years, with the 2014 squad advancing to the national quarterfinals, which still stands as the program's deepest postseason run. During ODU's 2014 postseason run of three games, Stewart caught 15 passes for 384 yards and two touchdowns.
Stewart, along with Contini are two of the top punt returners in school history. Stewart's success in the return game helped lead to 3,989 career all-purpose yards, which ranks third-most at ODU. Stewart posted a pair of top 10 all-purpose yardage seasons during his time with the Panthers (2014, 2015).
An undrafted free agent after the 2016 NFL Draft, Stewart was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The wide out has also spent time with the Washington, Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Detroit NFL franchises.
Joining Stewart with a pair of top 10 all-purpose seasons at ODU is current senior, David Turner. Turner, who missed most of the 2019 season due to injury, has accumulated 193 catches, 2,116 yards and 14 touchdowns since joining the program in 2016. All three career marks rank in the top seven in school history, as Turner enters the 2020 season just 30 receptions shy of Jared Stace's all-time record of 223 catches.
In his last full season, 2018, Turner tallied 76 catches for 733 yards and four scores. The 2017 season saw the Fort Wayne, Ind. Native haul in 68 passes for a career-best 909 yards and seven scores. His 143.0 all-purpose yards per game that year ranks third in school history. Turner earned all-conference accolades in both 2017 and 2018.
Turner appeared in just two games in 2019, squaring off against a pair of eventual national playoff qualifiers in Shepherd (Pa.) and Valdosta State (Ga.). In those two games, Turner amassed 115 yards on 17 receptions. His career average of 5.7 receptions per game is first all-time at ODU, while his 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in 2016 still stands as a school record.
With 34 career appearances, Turner has posted 3,818 all-purpose yards, 112.3 per game, with both marks ranking fourth all-time at ODU. Turner is also less than 100 yards away from breaking the school's mark of 1,747 kick return yards. The wide out enters 2020 with 1,683 kick return yards.
McLeod was a four-year member of the Panther football program, earning a starting role in the offense his final two seasons in 2017 and 2018. Over his final two seasons, McLeod combined 32 catches for 364 yards and four touchdowns.
McLeod caught multiple passes in 8-of-11 games as a senior, including a personal-best four receptions for 49 yards at Tiffin. The Myakka City, Fla. native had a career-best 61 receiving yards in his collegiate finale at Lake Erie, which including a 53-yard touchdown.
In 2017, McLeod caught a season-best three passes for 53 yards at Walsh. He also recorded a 49-yard catch against Hillsdale. McLeod was an all-GMAC honoree in 2017 and 2018.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jerad Butler (2012-15), Ronald McCloud (2011-14), Andy Mick (2009-12), Tyler Purcell (2007-11), Blake Skuratowicz (2017-19), Aaron Stephens (2013-16), Cedric Washington (2017-19), and Casey Williams (2011-15).
UPCOMING RELEASES: Linebackers/Star, Thursday, Nov. 13