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
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE 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
DEFENSE 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
SPECIAL TEAMS 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
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE 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
DEFENSE 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
SPECIAL TEAMS 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
HONORABLE MENTION (received at least one vote) OFFENSE QB- Brett Hodges, Sr., UCF QB- Trevor Vittatoe, Jr., UTEP RB- Dominique Lindsay, Sr., ECU RB- Shawnbrey McNeal, Jr., SMU RB- Andre Anderson, Sr., Tulane RB- Charles Clay, Jr., Tulsa RB- Brynn Harvey, So., UCF OL- D.J. Scott, Jr., ECU OL- Willie Smith, Jr., ECU OL- Carl Barnett, Sr., Houston OL- Chris Thompson, So., Houston OL- Chad Schofield, Jr., Marshall OL- Dominik Riley, Jr., Memphis OL- Davon Allen, So., Rice OL- Jake Hicks, So., Rice OL- J.T. Brooks, So., SMU OL- Josh LeRibeus, So., SMU OL- Kyle Burkhart, Sr., Southern Miss OL- Cameron Zipp, Jr., Southern Miss OL- Nick Landry, Sr., Tulane OL- Andrew Nierman, Jr., Tulane OL- Matt McCants, So., UAB OL- Tanner Cullumber, Jr., UTEP OL- Rod Huntley, Jr., UTEP OL- Alex Solot, Jr., UTEP OL- Cameron Rashcke, Sr., UTEP TE- Lee Smith, Jr., Marshall TE- Charles Clay, Jr., Tulsa TE- Jeffrey Anderson, Jr., UAB WR- Tyron Carrier, So., Houston WR- Carlos Singleton, Sr., Memphis WR- Gerald Baptiste, Sr., Southern Miss WR- Jeremy Williams, Sr., Tulane WR- Jeff Moturi, Sr., UTEP
DEFENSE DL- Scotty Robinson, Sr., East Carolina DL- Jay Ross, Sr., East Carolina DL- Vinny Curry, Jr., Marshall DL- Michael Janac, Jr., Marshall DL- Cheta Ozougwu, Jr., Rice DL- Marquis Frazier, Jr., SMU DL- Margus Hunt, Fr., SMU DL- Taylor Thompson, So., SMU DL- Terrance Conner, Sr., Southern Miss DL- Anthony Gray, Jr., Southern Miss DL- Cordarro Law, So., Southern Miss DL- Adam Kwentua, Jr., Tulane DL- Cory Dorris, Fr., Tulsa DL- Wilson Garrison, Sr., Tulsa DL- Bryant Turner, Jr., UAB DL- Steve Riddick, Sr., UTEP DL- Aaron King, Sr., UTEP DL- Robert Soleyjacks, Jr., UTEP LB- Jeremy Chambliss, Sr., East Carolina LB- Youri Yenga, Jr., SMU LB- Pete Fleps, Jr., SMU LB- Ronnie Thornton, So., Southern Miss LB- Travis Burks, Sr., Tulane LB- Mike Bryan, Sr., Tulsa LB- Derrick Hallman, Jr., UCF LB- Lawrence Young, Jr., UCF DB- Levin Neal, Sr., East Carolina DB- Travis Simmons, Jr., East Carolina DB- DeQuan Bembry, So., Marshall DB- Ashton Hall, Sr., Marshall DB- Travis Bradshaw, So., Rice DB- Andrew Sendejo, Sr., Rice DB- Rock Dennis, Sr., SMU DB- Bryan McCann, Sr., SMU DB- C.J. Bailey, Jr., Southern Miss DB- Chinonso Echebelm, Sr., Tulane DB- Cornelius Brown, Sr., UTEP DB- Braxton Amy, Jr., UTEP DB- Clarence Ward, Sr., UTEP
SPECIAL TEAMS K- Matt Reagan, Sr., Memphis K- Matt Syzmanski, Jr., SMU K- Kevin Fitzpatrick, So., Tulsa P- Michael Such, Jr., Tulsa P- Greg Hiett, Sr., UTEP KR- Bryce McCann, Sr., SMU KR- Freddie Parham, Sr., Southern Miss KR- Damaris Johnson, So., Tulsa PR- Tracy Lampley, Fr., Southern Miss PR- Jeff Moturi, Sr., UTEP LS- William Smith, So., East Carolina LS- Keenan Bratcher, Jr., Memphis LS- Charley Hughlett, So., UCF
2009 C-USA FOOTBALL ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM OFFENSE 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
DEFENSE 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
SPECIAL TEAMS K- Matt Hogan, Houston P- Peter Boehme, Southern Miss KR- Marlon McClure, UTEP PR- Tracy Lampley, Southern Miss LS- Taylor Klein, UAB