Together, they formed one of the most respected defensive duos in decades of Princeton football. The respect for both Caraun Reid and Mike Catapano extended beyond the Ivy League, though; the pair was named to the 2012 FCS All-America Team, it was announced by The Sports Network.
Both Reid and Catapano, each of whom earned unanimous All-Ivy League distinction this year, became Princeton's first football All-Americas since 2006, when senior punter Colin McDonough earned third-team honors. Together, Reid and Catapano helped change the direction of the Princeton football program, and they led the Tigers to their biggest victory turnaround in more than two decades.
Reid, who earned preseason All-America recognition after his first-team All-Ivy season last year, was selected to the 2012 All-America second team. While playing inside and often facing double-team blocking schemes, he still placed in the Top 10 in both sacks (sixth) and tackles for loss (ninth) in the Ivy League. Reid was at his best in a shutout of Brown during Week 5; he recorded four tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and a safety in a 19-0 victory over the Bears.
“Caraun Reid may not have the same numbers as other players, but the coaches know his value on the defense,” Surace said. “Other guys have easier jobs because of the focus placed on Reid. He plays at such a high level, and he took over some games.”
Catapano, a third-team All-America honoree who earned the 2012 Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, led the Ivy League with 12 sacks and ended the regular season ranked second in the Football Championship Subdivision with 1.2 sacks per game. He ranked second in the Ivy League in tackles for loss with 15.5, which was only a half tackle off the League lead, and ranked ninth nationally in that category. The two-year co-captain ended the season with 41 tackles, and he had five games with at least two tackles for loss, as well as five games with at least five tackles. His 12 sacks were the most for a single season at Princeton since David Ferrara '00 recorded 12.5 during the 1998 season.
"Even more than his play on the field, which was dominant, Mike's biggest impact on the program was the leadership he brought every day," said head coach Bob Surace, a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award as the National Head Coach of the Year. "His work ethic was a model for our locker room, and his impact on our team will be felt for years to come."