IRVING, Texas – Conference USA announced its 2009 All-Conference football teams today, as selected by the league’s 12 head football coaches. Eleven schools were represented with at least one overall selection, with conference champion East Carolina producing the most first team (seven) and total selections (12). Marshall and UCF had the second-highest number of first team selections (four), while Houston had the second-most overall selections (eight).
The Pirates first team selections include four starters on their defense. Defensive lineman Linval Joseph (57 tackles, 12.5 TFL’s) and C.J. Wilson (56 tackles, 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles) are joined by defensive backs Emanuel Davis (64 tackles, 13 pass breakups) and Van Eskridge (93 tackles, six interceptions). Offensive lineman Sean Allen and punter Matt Dodge (league-high 45.8 avg.) earned first team honors, while junior Dwayne Harris was named first team as a wide receiver (79 receptions, 914 yards, six TDs) and second team as a kick returner (27.4 avg., C-USA-record three kickoff returns for touchdowns).
Marshall’s four first team selections include a pair of special teams performers in kicker Craig Ratanamorn (a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award) and long snapper Sean McClellan, along with tight end Cody Slate (50 receptions, 607 yards) and linebacker Mario Harvey (105 tackles, five sacks).
Three members of UCF’s league-leading defense earned spots on the squad. Included are defensive lineman Bruce Miller and Jarvis Geathers who rank among the top 10 in the nation in sacks with 12 and 11, respectively. Linebacker Cory Hogue (team-high 99 tackles, 11.5 TFL’s) is also a first team selection, along with offensive lineman Jah Reid.
Houston’s eight all-conference selections are led by three record-setting first team performers. Quarterback Case Keenum has set Conference USA single-season records for pass attempts (659) and completions (468), throwing for 5,449 yards (fourth-highest total in FBS history) and 43 touchdowns with just nine interceptions. Wide receiver James Cleveland had a C-USA single-game record 19 receptions in the conference championship game, giving him 101 for the season, good for 1,182 yards and a league-high 14 touchdowns. Kick returner Tyron Carrier leads the league with a 27.5 average and has set a new league single-season record with three returns for TDs.
SMU and UTEP each filled three first team spots. Two of the Mustangs spots are held by Emmanuel Sanders, who gained first team recognition as a wide receiver (91 receptions for 1,215 yards) and a punt returner (C-USA-best 15.4 avg. with one return for a TD). UTEP’s selections include running back Donald Buckram, who ran for a UTEP single-season record 1,594 yards and scored a league-high 21 touchdowns. SMU also placed linebacker Chase Kennemer on first team, while UTEP had offensive lineman Mike Aguayo and defensive back Da’mon Cromartie-Smith earn spots.
Southern Miss had a pair of first team choices, while Memphis and UAB each had one. The Golden Eagles first teamers included offensive lineman Ryan Hebert and defensive back Eddie Hicks (60 tackles, five interceptions). Memphis placed running back Curtis Steele (1,239 yards and 15 touchdowns in 10 games) on the team, while UAB is represented by offensive lineman Jake Seitz, who helped pave the way for quarterback Joe Webb’s record-breaking campaign.
The league’s individual awards will be released on Wednesday, December 9. Conference USA will conclude the 2009 season by sending six teams to bowl games for the fourth time in five seasons.
2009 C-USA Football All-Conference Teams
QB- Case Keenum, Jr., Houston
RB- Curtis Steele, Sr., Memphis
RB- Donald Buckram, Jr., UTEP
OL- Sean Allen, Sr., East Carolina
OL- Ryan Hebert, Sr., Southern Miss
OL- Jake Seitz, Sr., UAB
OL- Jah Reid, Jr., UCF
OL- Mike Aguayo, Jr., UTEP
TE- Cody Slate, Sr., Marshall
WR- Dwayne Harris, Jr., East Carolina
WR- James Cleveland, Jr., Houston
WR- Emmanuel Sanders, Sr., SMU
DL- Linval Joseph, Jr., East Carolina
DL- C.J. Wilson, Sr., East Carolina
DL- Jarvis Geathers, Sr., UCF
DL- Bruce Miller, Jr., UCF
LB- Mario Harvey, Sr., Marshall
LB- Chase Kennemer, Sr., SMU
LB- Cory Hogue, Sr., UCF
DB- Emmanuel Davis, So., East Carolina
DB- Van Eskridge, Sr., East Carolina
DB- Eddie Hicks, Sr., Southern Miss
DB- Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith, Sr., UTEP
K- Craig Ratanamorn, Sr., Marshall
P- Matt Dodge, Sr., East Carolina
KR- Tyron Carrier, So., Houston
PR- Emmanuel Sanders, Sr., SMU
LS- Sean McClellan, Sr., Marshall
QB- Joe Webb, Sr., UAB
RB- Darius Marshall, Jr., Marshall
RB- Damion Fletcher, Sr., Southern Miss
OL- Terence Campbell, Sr., East Carolina
OL- Jarve Dean, Jr., Houston
OL- Daniel Baldridge, Sr., Marshall
OL- Scott Mitchell, Jr., Rice
OL- Kelvin Beachum, So., SMU
TE- Leroy Banks, Sr., Southern Miss
WR-Patrick Edwards, So., Houston
WR- Duke Calhoun, Sr., Memphis
WR- DeAndre Brown, So., Southern Miss
WR- Damaris Johnson, So., Tulsa
DL- Tyrell Graham, Sr., Houston
DL- Albert McClellan, Sr., Marshall
DL- Scott Solomon, Jr., Rice
DL- Torrell Troup, Sr., UCF
LB- Nick Johnson, Sr., East Carolina
LB- Marcus McGraw, So., Houston
LB- Korey Williams, So., Southern Miss
DB- Brandon Brinkley, Sr., Houston
DB- James Lockett, Sr., Tulsa
DB- Hiram Atwater, Jr., UAB
DB- Josh Robinson, Fr., UCF
K- Ben Hartman, Sr., East Carolina
P- Matt Reagan, Sr., Memphis
KR- Dwayne Harris, Jr., East Carolina
PR- Damaris Johnson, So., Tulsa
LS- Cody Tawater, Sr., Southern Miss
EAST CAROLINA HONORABLE MENTION
RB- Dominique Lindsay, Sr.
OL- D.J. Scott, Jr.
OL- Willie Smith, Jr.
DL- Scotty Robinson, Sr.
DL- Jay Ross, Sr.
LB- Jeremy Chambliss, Sr.
DB- Levin Neal, Sr.
DB- Travis Simmons, Jr.
LS- William Smith, So.
2009 C-USA FOOTBALL ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
QB- Kyle Padron, SMU
RB- Charles Sims, Houston
RB- Charles Ross, Rice
OL- Jamie McCoy, Memphis
OL- Zack Morgan, Tulane
OL- Trent Dupy, Tulsa
OL- Chris Hubbard, UAB
OL- Theo Goins, UCF
TE- Vance McDonald, Rice
WR- Antavious Wilson, Marshall
WR- Darius Johnson, SMU
WR- Ricky Johnson, Tulsa
DL- Michael Brooks, East Carolina
DL- Zeke Riser, Houston
DL- Dontari Poe, Memphis
DL- Cory Dorris, Tulsa
LB- Phillip Steward, Houston
LB- Taylor Reed, SMU
LB- Shakiel Smith, Tulane
LB- Daniel White, UAB
DB- Kevin Gaddis, Rice
DB- Dexter McCoil, Tulsa
DB- Josh Robinson, UCF
DB- Deshawn Grayson, UTEP
K- Matt Hogan, Houston
P- Peter Boehme, Southern Miss
KR- Marlon McClure, UTEP
PR- Tracy Lampley, Southern Miss
LS- Taylor Klein, UAB