Dec. 9, 2008
IRVING, Texas - A total of 13 Marshall University football players received All-Conference USA honors from the league's coaches Tuesday as junior Albert McClellan was voted to the first-team and seniors Brian Leggett, Darius Passmore, C.J. Spillman and Maurice Kitchens were voted to the second team along with sophomore running back Darius Marshall. Offensive tackles Ryan Tillman and C.J. Wood were selected for the All-Freshman Team as were defensive back DeQuan Bembry and place kicker Tyler Warner.
McClellan, the 2008 preseason Defensive Player of the Year, was the Herd's lone first-team selection. The Lakeland, Fla. native returned after missing all of 2007 with an injury and recorded 57 stops, including 2.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles-for-loss.
Darius Marshall led the Herd with 224 carries for a career-high 1,095 yards and five touchdowns. He also led the team with 20 kick returns for 790 yards, an average of 26.3 yards per return. Marshall rushed for more than 100 yards in a game seven times and finished 12th all-time on Marshall's single season rushing chart. He became only the 10th individual at Marshall to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.
Passmore was the Herd's leading receiver with 56 catches for 945 yards and seven touchdowns. Passmore also got behind center in the Herd's "racehorse" formation. He carried the ball 21 times for 195 yards and a touchdown.
Leggett started all 12 games this season at center. The Meridian, Miss. native started a total of 36 consecutive games for the Herd, having spent time at both guard and center over the last three seasons.
Kitchens had a career year. The senior linebacker racked up 97 tackles and led the team in interceptions with four. In the win over Houston, he led the way with an 80-yard fumble return and an interception. He was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week following that game.
Spillman, a senior from Louisville, Ky., earned his second straight all-conference selection. The ball hawking safety finished 2008 with 71 tackles in 11 games.
Wood and Tillman both started all 12 games at tackle in 2008 after redshirting the previous season. They anchored a unit that allowed just 13 sacks.
Bembry, a redshirt freshman, had a banner year, finishing third on the Herd defense with 80 tackles. He also had a team-high 7.5 tackles-for-loss. Bembry broke up 11 passes and recorded the first interception of his career against West Virginia.
Marshall true freshman kicker Tyler Warner made his collegiate debut and came through in a big way for MU at Southern Miss. Warner learned that he would be kicking in place of the injured Craig Ratanamorn just 15 minutes prior to kickoff and despite a heavy rain, the Parkersburg native managed to connect on both of his field goal attempts from 37 and 28 yards. He was a perfect 4-for-4 on PATs while handling all of the kickoff s as well. Warner handled seven kickoffs that included one touchback.
Cody Slate, Michael Janac, Mario Harvey and Darius Marshall received honorable mention recognition.