ECU Lands Four On All-Conference Teams
Dec. 9, 2008
IRVING, Texas - Conference USA announced its 2008 All-Conference football teams today, as selected by the league's 12 head football coaches. Each school was once represented with at least one overall selection, with Rice, Southern Miss, Tulsa, UAB and UTEP producing three first-team honorees apiece.
C-USA Champion East Carolina garnered four overall honors with DL C.J. Wilson and DB Van Eskridge collecting first-team accolades. Wilson has started 22 consecutive games and was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 15. Wilson ranks nationally and leads C-USA with 18.5 tackles for loss. Eskridge was the league's Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 8 and is tied for second on the team with 89 total tackles. Offensive lineman Sean Allen and LB Pierre Bell were both chosen to the second team.
The Owls three first-team selections were QB Chase Clement, WR Jarett Dillard and TE James Casey. In 2008, Clement set the C-USA record for career TD passes (96) and total touchdowns (120). He now holds six C-USA records and leads all C-USA signal callers with 52 total touchdowns. Dillard is the NCAA record holder for career TD catches (59) and the conference record holder for career receiving yardage (4,052). He is second on the league ledger with 284 career receptions and 59 TDs, one shy of the C-USA record. Casey is second in the NCAA FBS with a C-USA-record 104 catches this season and has also rushed for 231 yards for a total of 18 TDs. Rice has five total all-conference selections.
West Division champion Tulsa had six overall selections, led by first-teamers RB Tarrion Adams, OL Justin Morsey, and WR Brennan Marion. Adams leads C-USA with 1,316 rushing yards and is second in the league in TDs (11), yards per carry (5.8) and yards per game (101.2). Morsey has anchored an offensive line that has paved the way for Tulsa to lead the nation in total offense, while Marion leads Tulsa with 1,112 receiving yards, eight TDs and a 25.9 per catch average.
The Golden Eagles' first-team honorees include RB Damion Fletcher, WR DeAndre Brown and LB Gerald McRath. Fletcher is the school's all-time leading rusher with 4,209 yards, including 1,235 this season on 205 carries for a league-leading 112.3 per game average. Brown currently leads all NCAA FBS rookies in receiving yards (1,108), receiving yards per game (92.33) and touchdowns (12). He is also second in receptions with 66. McRath, the 2007 Defensive Player of the Year, leads the league in total tackles (126) and tackles per game (10.5). USM had the second-most overall selections with six.
Houston had six total selections, as OL Sebastian Vollmer and DL Phillip Hunt were named to the first team and QB Case Keenum, TE Mark Hafner, WR Tyron Carrier and DB Kenneth Fontennette are all listed on the second team.
UAB's Swayze Waters was named as the first-team punter and the second-team placekicker and the Blazers had five total selections, while UCF's Joe Burnett was also chosen to multiple positions, as he was named first-team at defensive back, punt returner and kick returner.
Marshall DL Albert McClellan, the 2008 preseason Defensive Player of the Year, was the Herd's lone first-team selection, but the team had five second-team honorees in RB Darius Marshall, OL Brian Leggett, WR Darius Passmore, LB Maurice Kitchens and DB C.J. Spillman.
UTEP had four total selections with OL Robby Felix, LB Adam Vincent and K Jose Martinez all garnering first-team honors, while Josh Ferguson was named second-team punt returner. Martinez was a Lou Groza semifinalist this season after being one of three finalists in 2007 and he hit a 64-yard field goal in 2008, the second-longest in NCAA history.
Memphis was represented by first-teamers OL Brandon Pearce and DL Clinton McDonald, as well as second-team member RB Curtis Steele. Tulane also had three overall sections in OL Troy Kropog, LS Craig Gelhardt and P Ross Thevenot.
SMU WR Emmanuel Sanders, the all-time school leader in TD catches with 27, was selected to the second team as the Mustangs' only representative.
The league's individual awards will be released on Wednesday, December 10. Conference USA will conclude the 2008 season by sending six teams to bowl games for the third time in four seasons.
2008 C-USA FOOTBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
EAST CAROLINA HONORABLE MENTION