Conference USA announced its 2007 Media All-Conference football teams today, as selected by a panel of media members in each conference city. Each school was once again represented with at least two players, with East Division Champion UCF producing a league-high nine total selections, followed by Southern Miss with eight players on the squad and West Division Champion Tulsa with seven.
Headlining UCF's all-conference players is junior RB Kevin Smith. Smith leads the country in rushing with an incredible 180.3 yards-per-game average. He became the first rusher in the state of Florida history and only the 13th player all-time to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark in a season. He is joined on the first team by Knights offensive linemen Pat Brown, Josh Sitton and Kyle Smith, DL Leger Douzable, DB Joe Burnett (who was also chosen as the first-team punt returner) and long snapper Michael Buscemi.
Southern Miss produced a pair of first team defensive lineman in seniors Matthew Chatelain and Martavius Prince. That duo was joined on the first team defense by LB Gerald McRath and DB Brandon Sumrall.
Of Tulsa's seven selections, three were first team honorees. QB Paul Smith was named to the first team after a record-setting senior season. The Oklahoma native has thrown for over 300 yards in all 12 TU games this season and 13 times in his career. Additionally, he has thrown for three or more TDs in nine games this year and 13 times in his career. Smith leads the nation and C-USA in points responsible for and set the C-USA single season record for total offense and passing yards. Fellow seniors Chris Chamberlain and Nelson Coleman filled two of the three first team linebacker spots.
Houston nabbed six selections, while cross-town rival Rice added five. Cougar senior OL Jeff Akeroyd garnered first-team honors, as well as WR Donnie Avery and DL Phillip Hunt. Rice was led by first-team selection WR Jarett Dillard. Dillard became the eighth receiver in NCAA history to reach 40 career TD catches and has scored a touchdown in 17 of his last 18 conference games and in 23 of the last 27 overall.
East Carolina, Marshall, Memphis, Tulane, UAB and UTEP each had three players earn recognition on the teams. East Carolina placed senior kick returner Chris Johnson on the first team. Marshall had two first-team selections in TE Cody Slate and OL Doug Legursky, while Tulane RB Matt Forté, the nation's second-leading rusher at 177.3 ypg., was also a first-team selection.
UAB senior DB Will Dunbar represented the Blazers on the first-team defense, while PK Swayze Waters was named first team kicker. Waters hit 22-of-28 FG's on the season for a percentage of .768, good for a tie for seventh in the country.
UTEP WR Jeff Moturi was chosen as one of the three first-team wide receivers, while teammate Quintin Demps was one of the first team defensive back choices.
Memphis' selections were OL Andy Smith, WR Duke Calhoun and LB Jake Kasser, all on the second team and SMU was represented by first team punter Thomas Morstead.
Conference USA will stage its third annual Championship Game this Saturday when UCF hosts Tulsa at Noon EST on ESPN.
2007 C-USA FOOTBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
Quarterback - Paul Smith, Sr., Tulsa
Running Back- Matt Forte', Sr., Tulane
Running Back- Kevin Smith, Jr., UCF
Offensive Lineman- Jeff Akeroyd, Sr., Houston
Offensive Lineman- Pat Brown, Jr., UCF
Offensive Lineman- Doug Legursky, Sr., Marshall
Offensive Lineman- Josh Sitton., Sr., UCF
Offensive Lineman- Kyle Smith, Sr., UCF
Tight End- Cody Slate, So., Marshall
Wide Receiver- Donnie Avery, Sr., Houston
Wide Receiver- Jarett Dillard, Jr., Rice
Wide Receiver- Jeff Moturi, So., UTEP
Defensive Lineman- Matthew Chatelain, Sr., Southern Miss
Defensive Lineman- Leger Douzable, Sr., UCF
Defensive Lineman- Phillip Hunt, Jr., Houston
Defensive Lineman- Martavius Prince., Sr., Southern Miss
Linebacker- Chris Chamberlain, Sr., Tulsa
Linebacker- Nelson Coleman, Sr., Tulsa
Linebacker- Gerald McRath, So., Southern Miss
Defensive Back- Joe Burnett, Jr., UCF
Defensive Back- Quintin Demps, Sr., UTEP
Defensive Back- Will Dunbar, Sr., UAB
Defensive Back- Brandon Sumrall, Sr., Southern Miss
FIRST-TEAM SPECIAL TEAMS
Placekicker- Swayze Waters, Jr., UAB
Punter- Thomas Morstead, Jr., SMU
Kick Returner- Chris Johnson, Sr., East Carolina
Punt Returner- Joe Burnett, Jr., UCF
Long Snapper- Michael Buscemi, Sr., UCF
Quarterback - Chase Clement, Jr., Rice
Running Back- Anthony Alridge, Sr., Houston
Running Back- Damion Fletcher, So., Southern Miss
Offensive Lineman- Aryan Barto, Sr., Tulane
Offensive Lineman- Matt Butler, Sr., East Carolina
Offensive Lineman- Chris Clark, Sr., Southern Miss
Offensive Lineman- Nick Dean., Sr., Southern Miss
Offensive Lineman- Robby Heos, Sr., Rice
Offensive Lineman- Andy Smith, Sr., Memphis
Tight End- Shawn Nelson, Jr., Southern Miss
Wide Receiver- Duke Calhoun, So., Memphis
Wide Receiver- Trae Johnson, Fr., Tulsa
Wide Receiver- Brennan Marion, Jr., Tulsa
Defensive Lineman- Antonio Harris., Sr., Tulane
Defensive Lineman- Moton Hopkins, Jr., Tulsa
Defensive Lineman- Bruce Miller, So., UCF
Defensive Lineman- Zack Slate, Jr., East Carolina
Linebacker- Joe Henderson, Jr., UAB
Linebacker- Jake Kasser, Sr., Memphis
Linebacker- Brian Raines, Jr., Rice
Defensive Back- Kenneth Fontennette, Jr., Houston
Defensive Back- Sha'Reff Rashad, Sr., UCF
Defensive Back- Andrew Sendejo, So., Rice
Defensive Back- C.J. Spillman, Jr., Marshall
SECOND-TEAM SPECIAL TEAMS
Placekicker- Jose Martinez, Jr., UTEP
Punter- Britt Barefoot., So., Southern Miss
Kick Returner- Donnie Avery., Sr., Houston
Punt Returner- Quintin Demps, Sr., UTEP
Long Snapper- John Warren, Jr., Tulsa