NEW ORLEANS, La. – East Carolina freshman inside linebacker Jeremy Grove has been named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-America Team, according to an announcement from the organization Monday. He is just the third Pirate in program history to receive accolades from the FWAA, joining Robert Jones (1991) and Andrew Bayes (1999).
Grove is one of 28 players at the FBS level selected for FWAA’s Freshman All-America Team and one of only four representing a program without an automatic tie into the Bowl Championship Series. The squad, which includes both true and redshirt freshmen, is selected by an 11-person panel of nationally-prominent writers, led by Mike Griffith of the Knoxville News Sentinel.
This postseason, Grove has earned Freshman All-America honors from CBSSports.com, FOXSportsNext.com and Yahoo! Sports. In addition, the Frederick, Md., product has been selected to All-Freshman Teams by the Bleacher Report and Phil Steele Magazine. He was also the Conference USA Freshman-of-the-Year and an honorable mention all-league selection.
During the 2011 campaign, Grove set a Pirate rookie record with a team-leading 122 tackles, the third-highest total by an ECU player in the last 14 years. Since the start of the 1998 campaign, only Pernell Griffin (153/2001) and Chris Moore (148/2003) booked more hits. Grove currently stands third in Conference USA and 10th among all FBS players with 11.1 tackles per game. He is the only freshman ranked within the FBS level’s top 90.
Grove started his debut campaign tallying 66 hits through the first five contests, good for an average of 13.2 tackles per matchup. During Conference USA games, he booked a team-best 75 stops, 24 more than any other Pirate.
In addition to the tackle output, Grove totaled a squad-high five quarterback hurries (one/South Carolina, two/Virginia Tech, one/Tulane, one/UCF), 3.5 tackles for lost yardage (-15 yards) and a pair of pass breakups (Virginia Tech, Southern Miss) during the year.
In the Pirates’ league opener, Grove tallied a career-high 15 tackles against UAB before registering a personal second-best 14 stops at Houston two weeks later. In the home finale against UCF, he registered his first career sack in the opening quarter, dropping Jeff Godfrey for nine-yard loss. In the third frame against the Knights, Grove helped keep the Pirates ahead 24-17 by stopping Godfrey short of the end zone twice, with hits on first-and-goal and third-and-goal rushes from the ECU two and one-yard line, respectively.
2011 FWAA Freshman All-America Team
QB Sean Mannion, 6-5, 218, Pleasanton, Calif., Oregon State
RB Giovani Bernard, 5-10, 205, Davie, Fla., North Carolina
RB Lyle McCombs, 5-8, 172, Staten Island, N.Y., Connecticut
WR Sammy Watkins, 6-1, 200, Fort Myers, Fla., Clemson
WR Matt Miller, 6-3, 213, Helena, Mont., Boise State
WR Marqise Lee, 6-0, 190, Inglewood, Calif., USC
AP De'Anthony Thomas, 5-9, 173, Los Angeles, Calif., Oregon
OL Reese Dismukes, 6-3, 300, Spanish Fort, Ala., Auburn
OL Jake Smith, 6-4, 315, Jacksonville, Ala., Louisville
OL B.J. Finney, 6-4, 297, Andale, Kan., Kansas State
OL Chaz Green, 6-5, 306, Tampa, Fla., Florida
OL Kaleb Johnson, 6-4, 298, Jacksonville, Fla., Rutgers
DL Timmy Jernigan, 6-3, 297, Lake City, Fla., Florida State
DL Marcus Rush, 6-2, 250, Cincinnati, Ohio, Michigan State
DL Jadeveon Clowney, 6-6. 254, Rock Hill, S.C., South Carolina
DL Aaron Lynch, 6-6, 265, Cape Coral, Fla., Notre Dame
LB A.J. Johnson, 6-3, 245, Gainesville, Ga., Tennessee
LB Dion Bailey, 6-0, 200, Lakewood, Calif., USC
LB Jeremy Grove, 6-1, 230, Frederick, Md., East Carolina
DB Merrill Noel, 5-10, 180, Pahokee, Fla., Wake Forest
DB Blair Burns, 5-10, 170, Plano, Texas, Wyoming
DB Ibraheim Campbell, 5-11, 205, Philadelphia, Pa., Northwestern
DB Quandre Diggs, 5-10, 200, Angleton, Texas, Texas
DB Eric Rowe, Utah, 6-1, 185, Spring, Texas, Utah
P Brad Wing, 6-3, 184, Melbourne, Australia, LSU
K Michael Hunnicutt, 6-0, 175, Richardson, Texas, Oklahoma
PR Scott Harding, 5-11, 195, Brisbane, Australia, Hawai'i
KR Tyler Lockett, 5-11, 170, Tulsa, Okla., Kansas State