Junior C.J. Wilson leads C-USA with 18.5 tackles for loss.
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
Quarterback - Chase Clement, Sr., Rice
Running Back- Damion Fletcher, Jr., Southern Miss
Running Back- Tarrion Adams, Sr., Tulsa
Offensive Lineman- Sebastian Vollmer, Sr., Houston
Offensive Lineman- Brandon Pearce, Sr., Memphis
Offensive Linemen- Troy Kropog, Sr., Tulane
Offensive Lineman - Justin Morsey, Sr., Tulsa
Offensive Lineman- Robby Felix, Jr, UTEP
Tight End- James Casey, So., Rice
Wide Receiver- Jarett Dillard, Sr., Rice
Wide Receiver- DeAndre Brown, Fr., Southern Miss
Wide Receiver- Brennan Marion, Sr., Tulsa
Defensive Lineman- Phillip Hunt, Sr., Houston
Defensive Lineman- C.J. Wilson, Jr., East Carolina
Defensive Lineman- Albert McClellan, Jr., Marshall
Defensive Lineman- Clinton McDonald, Sr., Memphis
Linebacker- Gerald McRath, Jr., Southern Miss
Linebacker- Joe Henderson, Sr., UAB
Linebacker- Adam Vincent, Sr., UTEP
Defensive Back- Van Eskridge, Jr., East Carolina
Defensive Back- Kevin Sanders, Sr., UAB
Defensive Back- Sha'Reff Rashad, Sr., UCF
Defensive Back- Joe Burnett, Sr., UCF
Placekicker- Jose Martinez, Jr., UTEP
Punter- Swayze Waters, Sr., UAB
Kick Returner- Jor Burnett, Sr., UCF
Punt Returner- Joe Burnett, Sr., UCF
Long Snapper- Craig Gelhardt, Sr., Tulane
Quarterback - Case Keenum, So., Houston
Running Back- Darius Marshall, So., Marshall
Running Back- Curtis Steele, Jr., Memphis
Offensive Lineman- Sean Allen, Jr., East Carolina
Offensive Lineman- Brian Leggett, Sr., Marshall
Offensive Lineman- David Berken, Sr., Rice
Offensive Lineman- Pat Brown, Sr., UCF
Offensive Lineman- Ryan McKee, Sr., Southern Miss
Tight End- Mark Hafner, Sr., Houston
Wide Receiver- Tyron Carrier, Fr., Houston
Wide Receiver- Darius Passmore, Sr., Marshall
Wide Receiver- Emmanuel Sanders, Jr., SMU
Defensive Lineman- Anthony Gray, So., Southern Miss
Defensive Lineman- Moton Hopkins, Sr., Tulsa
Defensive Lineman- Bruce Miller, So., UCF
Defensive Lineman- Torrell Troup, Jr., UCF
Linebacker- Pierre Bell, Sr., East Carolina
Linebacker- Maurice Kitchens, Sr., Marshall
Linebacker- Brian Raines, Sr., Rice
Defensive Back- Kenneth Fontenette, Sr., Houston
Defensive Back- C.J. Spillman, Sr., Marshall
Defensive Back- James Lockett, Jr., Tulsa
Defensive Back- Eddie Hicks, Jr., Southern Miss
Placekicker- Swayze Waters, Sr., UAB
Punter- Ross Thevenot, Jr., Tulane
Kick Returner - Damaris Johnson, Fr., Tulsa
Punt Returner- Josh Ferguson, Sr., UTEP
Long Snapper- Jeff Hamby, Sr., UAB
EAST CAROLINA HONORABLE MENTION
Tight End- Davon Drew, Sr., East Carolina
Defensive Lineman- Linval Joseph, So., East Carolina
Defensive Lineman- Jay Ross, Jr., East Carolina
Defensive Lineman- Zack Slate, Sr., East Carolina
Linebacker- Nick Johnson, Jr., East Carolina
Long Snapper- Wilson Raynor, Sr., East Carolina