UCF Football Lands Eight On Coaches' All-Conference USA First And Second Teams
Junior Joe Burnett earns a pair of first-team honors at defensive back and punt returner
Dec. 4, 2007
Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The Conference USA Champion UCF football team had eight players recognized on the 2007 Coaches' All-C-USA first and second teams released on Tuesday by league officials. C-USA's 12 head coaches also placed a league-high four Knights on their all-freshman team.
Junior running back Kevin Smith along with defensive end Leger Douzable, cornerback/punt returner Joe Burnett and long snapper Michael Buscemi were all named to the coaches' first team - which were honors that the same quartet received from the league's media a week ago.
Smith leads the NCAA Bowl Subdivision with 2,448 rushing yards - a total that ranks second all-time in a single season - and he is just the fourth player in FBS history to score 30 touchdowns in a season. Burnett led the league with six interceptions and had an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown in the C-USA title game, while Douzable registered a team-high 7.5 sacks in 2007. Buscemi was flawless on both his punt and place-kicking snaps during the season.
Burnett occupied two positions on the first team, earning a spot at both defensive back and punt returner. The Knights also had four players earn second team accolades. Seniors Josh Sitton and Kyle Smith, who helped pave the way for the UCF offense to churn out school records in rushing yards (3,156 yards) and rushing touchdowns (41), were both named to the second team.
Senior defensive tackle Keith Shologan and junior strong safety Sha'reff Rashad were named to the league's second team defensive unit. Shologan, who was also an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American, had 25 tackles and 2.5 sacks during the season. Rashad led the team with a career-high 94 tackles and also added four interceptions.
The Knights were well represented on the all-freshman team, equaling East Carolina with four players on the squad. Offensive tackle Jah Reid, who started four games and saw action in all 13 games on special teams, was joined on the squad by a trio of defensive Knights.
Linebackers Derrick Hallman and Darius Nall were also rewarded for their first year play. Hallman led all UCF rookies with 45 tackles and he added three sacks, while Nall totalled 22 takedowns and a sack. Defensive end Bruce Miller earned a spot after registering seven sacks in his first campaign for the Knights.
Miller was also one of six Knights named honorable mention All-Conference USA by the league's head coaches. Joining Miller on that list were offensive tackle Pat Brown, tight end Mike Merritt, defensive back Jason Venson, kick returner Curtis Francis and placekicker Michael Torres.
The Knights will be making their second bowl appearance in program history on Dec. 29 at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn. Fans can purchase tickets and bowl travel packages for the contest vs. Mississippi State by visiting www.ucfathletics.com or by calling 407-823-1000.
For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports photos.