Three members of Fordham University’s 2002 Patriot League Championship football team dubbed the “Sunshine Boys” because of their Florida roots will get the chance to sparkle when the trio is among six new members enshrined into the Fordham Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday, January 23, at the McGinley Center on the university’s Rose Hill Campus in the Bronx.
The football stars and 2004 graduates – running back Kirwin Watson (FCRH), wide receiver Javarus Dudley (CBA) and quarterback Kevin Eakin (FCRH) – will be joined by Ioana Dragan (CBA ’02, Women’s Tennis), Akira Kosugi (CBA ’96, Men’s Swimming), and Sophie Namy (FCRH ’00 Rowing) as the “Class of 2010” inductees in ceremonies at 11:00 am prior to the Fordham vs. Temple men’s basketball game (1:00 pm tip off) at the Rose Hill Gymnasium. The group joins such iconic names as Vince Lombardi, Frankie Frisch, Wellington Mara and Vin Scully in the Fordham pantheon. Fordham President Fr. Joseph McShane, S.J. and Executive Director of Athletics Frank McLaughlin will preside over the induction ceremonies. YES Network’s Voice of the Yankees and 1050 ESPN Radio host Michael Kay, a Fordham alumnus and a product of the university’s WFUV Radio, will serve as Master of Ceremonies.
Nicknamed the “Sunshine Boys” after head coach Dave Clawson recruited the three out of South Florida, the three have set numerous school records and spearheaded Fordham’s climb to a Patriot League power for the first time since the school made the jump from Division III in 1989.
Dudley (Hollywood, FL), Eakin (Coral Springs, FL) and Watson (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) led the 2002 football squad to its first ever Patriot League Championship and graduated as Fordham’s all-time leading receiver, passer and rusher, respectively.
Watson, a finalist for the 2002 and 2003 Walter Payton Award as the top NCAA FCS (formerly I-AA) offensive player in the nation, was a Second Team All-America in 2003. He is the first Fordham player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season on the FCS level, doing so as both a junior and a senior.
The 2002 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, Watson holds Fordham career records for rushing yards (4,617), rushing attempts (942) and rushing touchdowns (48) as well as single Fordham Athletics Hall of Fame, Class of 2010 season records for rushing yards (1,477 set in 2003), rushing attempts (311 set in 2003) and rushing touchdowns (20 set in 2003).
Dudley, a consensus First Team All-America as a senior in 2003, became the first Fordham receiver to compile more than 1,000 receiving yards in a season, accomplishing the feat twice. He was named First Team All-Patriot League in 2001, 2002 and 2003.
Dudley graduated as the Patriot League career leader in receptions (295), receiving yards (4,197), receiving touchdowns (34), all-purpose yards (7,121), kickoff returns (111) and kickoff return yardage (2,663), all records that still stand. He also holds Fordham single season marks for receptions (101 set in 2004), receiving yards (1,439 set in 2004) and kickoff return yards (840 set in 2002).
Despite playing just two seasons, Eakin set Fordham career records in passing yards (6,112), touchdown passes (45), completion percentage (61.5%), 200-yard passing games (19) and 300-yard passing games (5). He also ranked among Patriot League career leaders in completion percentage (third), passing yards/game (sixth), passing touchdowns (10th), passing yards (11th) and total offense (12th).
A 2002 & 2003 First Team All-Patriot League selection, Eakin was the first Fordham quarterback to throw for more than 3,000 yards in a season, setting the school passing yardage record in 2003 with 3,072 yards. He led the Patriot League in passing yards/game that season and was second in total offense.
Dragan, the 2001 Atlantic 10 Student Athlete of the Year for Women’s Tennis, was named to the All-Atlantic 10 team in 2000 and 2001. She received the 2001 Claire Hobbs Award as the school’s top female student-athlete after going 8-2 at #1 singles in dual match action and 5-2 in doubles play as a senior.
Kosugi, who transferred to Fordham after swimming for three years at Florida, was named 1996 Most Outstanding Performer at the Atlantic 10 Championships, winning A-10 titles in the 200 IM and 100 fly. He was also a member of the 200 medley relay team that won the 1996 Atlantic 10 championship, setting an Atlantic 10 record in the process.
As a senior, Kosugi set Fordham records in the 200 IM, 100 back and 100 fly with the 100 fly and 200 IM records still standing today. He was also a member of the 200 and 400 medley relay teams that set school records in 1996.
Namy, who rowed in the women’s top crew for three years and earned Academic All-America honors all three years, won both the A-10 championship and Dad Vail championship in both her junior and senior years with the varsity eight. She helped the crew to an undefeated 1999 spring season and added a New York State Championship to their other accomplishments while also competing in the varsity four that raced in Women’s Henley her senior year.
Namy continued to row for a fifth year in 2000 as she had eligibility remaining due to time missed because of injury. She stroked the best varsity eight Fordham has ever raced that year and finished second at the Dad Vail, missing the gold medal in a photo finish (this was Fordham’s best finish in the varsity eight event at the Dad Vail).
The day will begin with a special mass at the University Church before the Hall of Famers and their guest arrive at the McGinley Center Ballroom for the formal induction ceremony.
Following the ceremony, the Hall of Famers will attend the Fordham-Temple men’s basketball game in the Rose Hill Gym at 1:00 p.m. with the new class being feted again at halftime.
About Fordham University
Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to approximately 14,700 students in its four undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan, a campus in Westchester, and the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, NY.