Five Pirates Land On Coaches All-Conference Teams

Eleven Pirates Named Honorable Mention

Dec. 4, 2007

IRVING, Texas - Conference USA announced its 2007 Coaches All-Conference football teams today, as selected by the league's 12 head football coaches. Each school was once represented with at least one first team selection, with Southern Miss producing a league-high 10 total selections, followed by C-USA Champion UCF with nine players on the squad and Houston with seven.

East Carolina placed senior Chris Johnson on the first-team as a kick returner and the second team as a running back. Josh Coffman was joined Johnson as an offensive selection, while Van Eskridge, Zack Slate and C.J. Wilson were named second-team on the defensive side of the ball.

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. Offensive lineman Chris Clark and tight end Shawn Nelson round out the Golden Eagles league-best six first team honorees.

Headlining UCF's all-conference players is junior RB Kevin Smith. Smith leads the country in rushing with an incredible 188.1 yards-per-game average. He set a new all-time NCAA FBS record for rushing attempts with 415 and enters the AutoZone Liberty Bowl with 2,448 yards, second in FBS history and 181 yards shy of breaking Barry Sanders all-time mark. He is joined on the first team by Knights DL Leger Douzable, DB Joe Burnett (who was also chosen as the first-team punt returner) and long snapper Michael Buscemi.



Houston nabbed seven selections, including three first-teamers. Cougar senior OL Jeff Akeroyd garnered first-team honors, as well as WR Donnie Avery and DL Phillip Hunt. Running back Anthony Alridge headlined UH's four second team choices.

West Division champion Tulsa, East Carolina and UTEP each had six players earn all-conference recognition. Golden Hurricane senior 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 13 TU games this season and 14 times in his career. Additionally, he has thrown for three or more TDs in 10 games this year and 14 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.

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. O'Neill Cousins was a first team offensive linemen and Jose Martinez was the first team kicker, giving the Miners the second-most selections on the first team with four.

Rice had four overall selections, followed by Marshall and Memphis with three. 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. Marshall and Memphis each had a first team offensive lineman with Doug Legursky representing the Thundering Herd and Andy Smith on the list for the Tigers.

Tulane RB Matt Forté, the nation's second-leading rusher at 177.3 ypg., was a first-team selection, while UAB senior DB Will Dunbar represented the Blazers on the first-team defense. SMU was represented by first team punter Thomas Morstead.

The coaches individual awards will be released on Wednesday. Conference USA will conclude the 2007 season by sending six teams to bowl games for the second time in three seasons.


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- Chris Clark, Sr., Southern Miss
Offensive Linemen- O'Neill Cousins, Sr., UTEP
Offensive Lineman- Doug Legursky, Sr., Marshall
Offensive Lineman- Andy Smith, Sr., Memphis
Tight End- Shawn Nelson, Jr., Southern Miss
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

Placekicker- Jose Martinez, Jr., UTEP
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- Chris Johnson, Sr., East Carolina
Running Back- Anthony Alridge, Sr., Houston
Running Back- Damion Fletcher, So., Southern Miss
Offensive Lineman- Josh Coffman, Sr., East Carolina
Offensive Lineman- Nick Dean, Sr., Southern Miss
Offensive Lineman- Robby Heos, Sr., Rice
Offensive Lineman- Ryan McKee, Jr., Southern Miss
Offensive Lineman- Josh Sitton., Sr., UCF
Offensive Lineman- Kyle Smith, Sr., UCF
Tight End- Cody Slate, So., Marshall
Wide Receiver- Duke Calhoun, So., Memphis
Wide Receiver- Trae Johnson, Fr., Tulsa
Wide Receiver- Brennan Marion, Jr., Tulsa

Defensive Lineman- Moton Hopkins, Jr., Tulsa
Defensive Lineman- Keith Shologan, Sr., UCF
Defensive Lineman- Zack Slate, Jr., East Carolina
Defensive Lineman- C.J. Wilson, So., East Carolina
Linebacker- Jeremy Jones, Sr., UTEP
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- Van Eskridge, So., East Carolina
Defensive Back- C.J. Spillman, Jr., Marshall

Placekicker- Swayze Waters, Jr., UAB
Punter- Britt Barefoot., So., Southern Miss
Kick Returner- Donnie Avery, Sr., Houston
Punt Returner- Quintin Demps, Sr., UTEP
Long Snapper- Norby Juist., Jr., Houston

Running Back- Jay Sonnhalter, Sr., East Carolina
Offensive Lineman- Matt Butler, So., East Carolina
Offensive Lineman- Doug Palmer, So., East Carolina
Tight End- Davon Drew, Jr., East Carolina
Wide Receiver- Jamar Bryant, So., East Carolina
Defensive Lineman- Khalif Mitchell, Jr., East Carolina
Defensive Lineman- Jay Ross, So., East Carolina
Linebacker- Pierre Bell, Jr., East Carolina
Linebacker- Fred Wilson, Sr., East Carolina
Defensive Back- Travis Williams, Sr., East Carolina
Long Snapper- Wilson Raynor, Jr., East Carolina

Van Eskridge