Dec. 4, 2008
Irving, Texas -
Led by a trio of graduate students that includes Marshall guard Matt Altobello, the 2008 Conference USA Football All-Academic Team also consists of three seniors, five juniors, two sophomores, and a redshirt freshman. A student-athlete must have a 3.2 cumulative grade point average or better and be a starter or key reserve on the football team to be eligible for the squad that was announced Thursday.
Houston, Memphis, Rice, SMU and Tulsa landed two student-athletes apiece on the 14 member team, while Marshall, Southern Miss, Tulane and UTEP each had one.
Brandon Patterson of Memphis receives his second consecutive C-USA All-Academic Team honor as a graduate student. The free safety was recently named to the CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors as an MBA student with a 3.54 GPA. Fellow Tiger Brandon Pearce was also selected to the C-USA All-Academic Team as a graduate student. The offensive lineman owns a 3.53 GPA and is currently working towards a master's degree in English Literature.
Rounding out the list of graduate students is Marshall offensive guard Matt Altobello, who maintains a perfect 4.0 GPA in the math education program. The Keyser, W.Va., native started every game this season for the Thundering Herd and is a leader for a unit that leads C-USA in sacks allowed with just one per game.
Sophomore tight end and wide receiver James Casey of Rice lands on the All-Academic Team after joining Patterson on the CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Team. Setting a school record with 208 yards receiving against Memphis and a C-USA season record for receptions with 104 this season, Casey is a triple major in economics, managerial studies, and sport management and owns a 3.84 GPA.
Owl teammate Andrew Sendejo receives his second consecutive All-Academic Team honor as a sport management major with a 3.59 GPA. On the field, he leads Rice in tackles with 90.
Mitch Enright of SMU was named to the All-Academic Team after capturing a 3.99 GPA as a management major. Sophomore teammate Pete Fleps also represents the Mustangs on this year's squad. The linebacker is a marketing major with a 3.54 GPA and notched 23 tackles in one game at Navy, which ranks as the fourth-most ever in a game by a C-USA player.
Houston quarterback Case Keenum joins fellow Cougar Jake Ebner on the All-Academic Team. Keenum is a redshirt sophomore and owns a 3.23 GPA in kinesiology, while leading the nation in passing yardage (4,768) and the conference in touchdown passes (43).
Ebner, a senior defensive tackle and a two-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI First-Team selection, is a double major in marketing and finance. The Friendswood, Texas native tied for second on the team with two fumble recoveries and two breakup passes while maintaining a 3.54 GPA.
Southern Miss quarterback Austin Davis captures his first all-academic accolade as a business major with a 3.69 GPA. The redshirt freshman is the first freshman QB to start the season since 1991 for the Golden Eagles and broke nine school single-game records and five single-season marks that include most passing yards in a game (461) and most rushing touchdowns in a contest (5).
Andre Anderson of Tulane adds to his list of academic honors a C-USA All-Academic Team member. The junior running back was twice named the Tulane Student-Athlete of the Week this season as a computer information science major with a 3.43 GPA. He was leading C-USA in rushing prior to suffering a season-ending injuring in mid-October.
The Golden Hurricane placed a pair of seniors on the All-Academic Team. Moton Hopkins was named Tulsa's 2008 Homecoming King and carries a 3.37 GPA as a communication major. Senior quarterback David Johnson also represents the Golden Hurricane as an exercise sports science major with a minor in education. Johnson was the only C-USA quarterback named as a semifinalist for the 2008 Davey O'Brien Award and has led the nation in pass efficiency the entire season (66.1 pct). The Portland, Ore. native owns a 3.92 GPA.
Filling the last slot on the roster is Cameron Raschke of UTEP. The junior left guard has been an integral part of an offensive line which has helped UTEP rank 19th nationally in passing efficiency (146.4 ypg). Raschke is an occupational therapy major with a 3.66 GPA.