Clauss remains positive through injury

Bentley University sophomore cornerback Jesse Clauss faced one of the biggest challenges of his collegiate career this fall. It had nothing to do with attempting to cover the Northeast-10’s top receivers. Clauss was only on the field for five games thanks to a pulled hamstring.

Despite missing six of the Falcons’ 11 games, Clauss remained positive.

"It was definitely a tough second half of the season for me," said Clauss, who watched Bentley close the season at 5-6. "Not playing was killing me. But I know that God has a plan for me, and everything will work out exactly how it’s supposed to. I still have two years left and I’ll get things right and be out there again next year."

It was certainly a learning experience for the 20-year-old Nashuan, who has yet to declare a major.

"I never had any hamstring issues in high school," Clauss said. "I didn’t know how this type of injury would impact me for the rest of the season. That was the hardest part of it. Just when it started feeling good and I’m thinking I can get back out there, a certain movement would aggravate it all over again. It was frustrating – really annoying. I just wanted to be out there helping my teammates win games."

In the five games he saw action, Clauss finished with six tackles. His last play of the season was a pass breakup on a fade route into the end zone. He denied the Pace University receiver of a touchdown, but the lunging movement to make the defensive stop also ended his second season.

"It started nagging me heading into that fifth week," Clauss said, "but I just kept practicing through it. It was uncomfortable, but didn’t seem like anything serious. Then during the Pace game it was just done."

The former Nashua High School South standout receiver and safety doesn’t want what was a lingering issue this season to carry over into next fall.

With continued rehab and new exercises, he’s already working on strengthening his hamstrings. His focus until the next football camp is strength and conditioning.

"It’s just a matter of getting it stronger," Clauss said. "This is a motivating factor for me. It’s definitely motivation for continued and consistent work all off-season."

Keeping an eye on his former South teammate

Bentley sophomore Jesse Clauss’ season may have ended in Week 5, but it didn’t stop him from paying attention to his Falcons in Waltham, Mass., and one of his best friends, Trevor Knight, up in Durham at the University of New Hampshire.

Clauss – who was Knight’s teammate in youth football, beginning at the Mighty Mite level, and in high school at Nashua South – is in awe of what Knight has accomplished in Division I Football Championship Subdivision action. He’s been paying close attention to his old friend all season.

"He’s killing it over there," Clauss said of Knight. "That kid is playing like a savage."

Amherst’s Ford named All-Super Region punter

Record-setting Bentley University senior punter Tyler Ford, of Amherst, was selected for the 2016 Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association All-Super Region 1 first team by the region’s sports information directors.

Ford is Bentley’s first first-team honoree since 2009 and its first two-time All-Region honoree since longtime NFL offensive lineman Mackenzy Bernadeau (2006-07).

Super Region 1 includes those student-athletes competing in the Northeast-10 Conference, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, the Mountain East Conference and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

Ford, who was a second-team All-Region pick last year, was previously voted to the 2016 All-NE10 first team and the 2016 New England Football Writers Division II-III All-Star team, both for the second straight season.

Number two in Division II in average at 45.1 yards, the former Souhegan High School star broke Bentley’s single-season record for the third straight year and the NE-10 mark for the second time. He had 20 punts of at least 50 yards, including a school-record 73-yarder, and put 13 inside the 20. Ford concluded his career by averaging 55.6 yards on five kicks against Stonehill.

Ford, who raised his season norm by at least 2 yards each year as a Falcon, owns a career average of 41.7 yards, a school and conference record.

Bentley’s last first-team All-Region honorees were Darryl Laforest and Mike Zahoruiko, both in 2009.

The College Journal is a regular feature in The Telegraph. To report a tip on a local collegiate athlete, email sports@nashuatelegraph.com.