Football

Herd Has 4 On Hon. Mention On All-C-USA Football 2016

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HUNTINGTON — Conference USA announced its 2016 All-Conference football teams today, as selected by the league’s 13 head football coaches.  Eleven of the 13 schools placed at least one player on the first team, with West Division Champion Louisiana Tech producing a league-high seven selections, followed by C-USA Champion WKU with six. WKU had the most combined first and second-team members with 14, followed by Louisiana Tech with 13 and Middle Tennessee and Old Dominion with six.

Marshall had four players named to the honorable mention list on the All-Conference USA Football Team for 2016. That gives the Herd eight players honored in all including four named earlier today to the C-USA All-Freshman team — center Levi Brown, corner Chris Jackson, defensive end Ty Tyler and long snapper Matt Beardall.

Junior cornerback Rodney Allen (65 tackles-fourth on squad, 1.0 TFL, 2 INT and 11 PBU), two defensive ends in sophomore Ryan Bee (54 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 4.5 QBS, 2 PBU and 1 FR)and senior Gary Thompson 43 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 5.0 QBS, and 1 PBU-FF-FR) and junior tight end Ryan Yurachek (27 catches, 294 yards, 10.9 YPC and 4 TD) were all Honorable Mention all-conference members, and Yurachek was previously named to the All-Academic team last week.

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Ryan Yurachek, seen here diving over a Pitt player, was named to the 2016 All-Conference USA honorable mention team, the second time in three seasons he has collected honors from C-USA). (HI file photo)

Yuracheck and Thompson were named to the honorable mention team in 2015, while Bee was All-Frosh in ’15, Yurachek was All-Frosh in 2014 and Thompson was in 2013. The Herd has placed 30 players on the C-USA All-Freshman team since 2005, when DE Albert McClelland (now of the Baltimore Ravens, with two Super Bowl trophies in his career) and P Marty Biagi (who is coaching college football at Notre Dame) were named to ’05 team.

It marks the first times since 2005 — Marshall’s first year in Conference USA — that the Herd was shutout on the first team, with an all-time high of 17 places on the first team on the 2014 squad and a low of one named in both the 2010 and 2008 seasons. Marshall was shutout on the second team in 2011 and 2006 and was shut out on the honorable mention or third team (2006 team had third and honorable mention, but 2005 had only third team) in 2005.  The Herd has had 42 members of the C-USA Honorable Mention team since 2006.

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Rodney Allen (11) celebrates as George Davis returns a fumble for a 95 yard touchdown this season, and Allen was a member of the All-C-USA team announced today. (HI photo by Greg Perry)

WKU’s six first-team selections include three from the league’s top scoring offense, two on defense and one from the special teams unit. Highlighting the Hilltopper players are WR Taywan Taylor (school’s all-time leading receiver who has 89 receptions for a C-USA-leading 1,586 yards (fifth nationally) and 16 touchdowns (tied for fourth in the FBS), a pair of offensive linemen, including OT Forrest Lamp, and senior LB Keith Brown (the conference’s leading tackler with 123).

The seven honorees produced by Louisiana Tech include four offensive standouts, two defensive members and one special teams player.  Carlos Henderson earned spots as a wide receiver (1,406 yards and a league-high 19 TD receptions) and a kick returner (30.4 avg. and two returns for TDs), and is joined by WR Trent Taylor (C-USA-record 124 catches for 1,570 yards and 10 TDs), QB Ryan Higgins (4,208 yards and 37 TD passes), OL Darrell Brown, DE Jaylon Ferguson (C-USA-leading 14,5 sacks) and senior S Xavier Woods (league-best five interceptions and 81 tackles).

Two members of Middle Tennessee’s high-powered offense are included on the first team in RB I’Tavious Mathers (1,504 rushing yards and 19 total touchdowns) and WR Richie James (1,463 receiving yards and 15 total TDs).  They are joined by Blue Raiders first teamers DB Jeremy Cutrer (13 passes defended, 3 interceptions), K Canon Rooker (107 points) and LS William Eads.

UTEP placed three offensive standouts on the first team in RB Aaron Jones(league-leading 1,773 rushing yards and 20 total touchdowns), TE Hayden Plinke(UTEP single-season record 8 TD catches) and OL Will Hernandez.
Southern Miss also produced a trio of first team choices, including OL Cameron Tom (second-straight first team selection), DL Dylan Bradley (seven sacks, 14 TFLs) and DB D’Nerius Antoine (82 tackles).

Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Old Dominion, Rice and UTSA each produced one first team selection.  Charlotte is represented by senior DL Larry Ogunjobi (the 49ers career record-holder for tackles (217), TFLs (49) and sacks [13]), Florida Atlantic lists DE Trey Hendrickson (the school’s all-time sack leader with 29.5, seventh in C-USA history) and North Texas placed P Eric Keena (43.8 avg. with league-highs of 20 kicks inside the 20 and 21 punts of 50 yards or longer).

Old Dominion first teamer T.J. Ricks (93 tackles) headlines four members of the Monarchs defense that earned all-conference recognition, Rice is represented by LB Emmanuel Ellerbee (seven double-digit tackle games and 118 total), and UTSA put LB Josiah Tauaefa (third among the nation’s freshmen with 104 tackles) on the squad.

WKU had the most second-team designations with eight, while Louisiana Tech had six and Old Dominion produced five.
The league’s individual awards will be released Wednesday, December 7.  Conference USA will conclude the 2016 season by sending a league-record seven teams to bowl games.

2016 C-USA FOOTBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS

FIRST TEAM
OFFENSE
QB – Ryan Higgins, Sr., Louisiana Tech
RB – I’Tavius Mathers, Sr., Middle Tennessee
RB – Aaron Jones, Jr., UTEP
OL – Darrell Brown, Sr., Louisiana Tech
OL – Cameron Tom, Sr., Southern Miss
OL – Will Hernandez, Jr., UTEP
OL – Max Halpin, Sr., WKU
OL – Forrest Lamp, Sr., WKU
TE – Hayden Plinke, Sr., UTEP
WR – Carlos Henderson, Jr., Louisiana Tech
WR – Trent Taylor, Sr., Louisiana Tech
WR – Richie James, So., Middle Tennessee
WR – Taywan Taylor, Sr., WKU
DEFENSE
DL – Larry Ogunjobi, Sr., Charlotte
DL – Trey Hendrickson, Sr., Florida Atlantic
DL – Jaylon Ferguson, So., Louisiana Tech
DL – Dylan Bradley, Sr., Southern Miss
LB – TJ Ricks, Sr., Old Dominion
LB – Emmanuel Ellerbee, Jr., Rice
LB – Josiah Tauaefa, Fr., UTSA
LB – Keith Brown, Sr., WKU
DB – Xavier Woods, Sr., Louisiana Tech
DB – Jeremy Cutrer, Sr., Middle Tennessee
DB – D’Nerius Antoine, Sr., Southern Miss
DB – Branden Leston, Sr., WKU
SPECIAL TEAMS
K – Canon Rooker, Jr., Middle Tennessee
P – Eric Keena, Sr., North Texas
KR – Carlos Henderson, Jr., Louisiana Tech
PR – Nacarius Fant, Jr., WKU
LS – William Eads, Sr., Middle Tennessee

SECOND TEAM
OFFENSE
QB – Mike White, Jr., WKU
RB – Ito Smith, Jr., Southern Miss
RB – Anthony Wales, Sr., WKU
OL – Joseph Brunson, Sr., Louisiana Tech
OL – O’Shea Dugas, So., Louisiana Tech
OL – Daniel Stephens, Sr., Middle Tennessee
OL – Troy Butler, Sr., Old Dominion
OL – Darrell Williams, Jr., Sr., WKU
TE – Jonnu Smith, Sr., FIU
WR – Zach Pascal, Sr., Old Dominion
WR – Nicholas Norris, Sr., WKU
DEFENSE
DL – Rashaad Coward, Sr., Old Dominion
DL – Oshane Ximines, So., Old Dominion
DL – Marcus Davenport, Jr., UTSA
DL – Omarius Bryant, Sr., WKU
LB – Anthony Wint, Jr., FIU
LB – Jordan Harris, Sr., Louisiana Tech
LB – Alvin Jones, Jr., UTEP
DB – Kishawn McClain, Jr., North Texas
DB – Brandon Addison, Jr., Old Dominion
DB – Michael Egwuagu, Sr., UTSA
DB – Joe Brown, Jr., WKU
SPECIAL TEAMS
K – Jonathan Barnes, Jr., Louisiana Tech
K – Parker Shaunfield, So., Southern Miss
P – Jake Collins, So., WKU
KR – Kylen Towner, Jr., WKU
PR – Trent Taylor, Sr., Louisiana Tech
LS – Darrell Travis, Sr., Louisiana Tech

HONORABLE MENTION
OFFENSE
QB – Brent Stockstill, So., Middle Tennessee
QB – David Washington, Sr., Old Dominion
QB – Nick Mullens, Sr., Southern Miss
RB – Kalif Phillips, So., Charlotte
RB – Alex Gardner, Jr., FIU
RB – Devin Singletary, Fr., Florida Atlantic
RB – Jarred Craft, Jr., Louisiana Tech
RB – Ray Lawry, Jr., Old Dominion
OL – Nate Davis, So., Charlotte
OL – Dieugot Joseph, Sr., FIU
OL – Michael Montero, Sr., FIU
OL – Dillon DeBoer, Sr., Florida Atlantic
OL – Antonyo Woods, Jr., Florida Atlantic
OL – Chandler Brewer, So., Middle Tennessee
OL – Josh Chester, Sr., Middle Tennessee
OL – Maurquice Shakir, Sr., Middle Tennessee
OL – Jordan Murray, So., North Texas
OL – Sam Rice, Sr., North Texas
OL – Calvin Anderson, So., Rice
OL – Trey Martin, Jr., Rice
OL – Jevonte Domond, Sr., UTSA
TE – Kam McKnight, So., Louisiana Tech
TE – Ryan Yurachek, Jr., Marshall
TE – Julian Allen, Jr., Southern Miss
WR – Austin Duke, Sr., Charlotte
WR – Thomas Owens, Jr., FIU
WR – Kalib Woods, Jr., Florida Atlantic
WR – Dennis Andrews, Sr., Middle Tennessee
WR – Ty Lee, Fr., Middle Tennessee
WR – Jonathan Duhart, Jr., Old Dominion
WR – Allenzae Staggers, Jr., Southern Miss
WR – Josh Stewart, Jr., UTSA
DEFENSE
DL – Brandon Banks, Sr., Charlotte
DL – Aaron Brown, Sr., Louisiana Tech
DL – Deldrick Canty, Jr., Louisiana Tech
DL – Ryan Bee, So., Marshall
DL – Gary Thompson, Sr., Marshall

DL – Chris Hale, Sr., Middle Tennessee
DL – Shaquille Huff, Sr., Middle Tennessee
DL – Jimal McBride, Sr., Middle Tennessee
DL – Steven Rhodes, Sr., Middle Tennessee
DL – Bunmi Rotimi, Jr., Old Dominion
DL – Xavier Thigpen, Jr., Southern Miss
DL – Chris Johnson, Jr., WKU
LB – Nick Cook, Sr., Charlotte
LB – Treyvon Williams, Jr., FIU
LB – Azeez Al-Shaair, So., Florida Atlantic
LB – Russell Farris, Jr., Louisiana Tech
LB – Chris Melton, So., Middle Tennessee
LB – D.J. Sanders, Jr.., Middle Tennessee
LB – Joshua Wheeler, Jr., North Texas
LB – Anthony Wilson, Sr., Old Dominion
LB – Alex Lyons, Sr., Rice
LB – Elijah Parker, Sr., Southern Miss
LB – Nick Usher, Sr., UTEP
LB – Joel Iyiegbuniwe, So., WKU
LB – T.J. McCollum, Jr., WKU
DB – Niko Gonzalez, Jr., FIU
DB – Raekwon Williams, Jr., Florida Atlantic
DB – Jalen Young, So., Florida Atlantic
DB – Secdrick Cooper, Jr., Louisiana Tech
DB – Prince Sam, Sr., Louisiana Tech
DB – Rodney Allen, Jr., Marshall
DB – Nate Brooks, So., North Texas
DB – Eric Jenkins, Jr., North Texas
DB – Tabari McGaskey, Sr., Rice
DB – Jordan Moore, Sr., UTSA
DB – Leverick Johnson, Jr., WKU
SPECIAL TEAMS
K – Austin Taylor, Sr., FIU
K – Greg Joseph, Jr., Florida Atlantic
K – Trevor Moore, Jr., North Texas
K – Skyler Simcox, So., WKU
P – Dalton Schomp, Sr., Florida Atlantic
P – Jack Fox, So., Rice
P – Tyler Sarrazin, Sr., Southern Miss
P – Alan Luna, Jr., UTEP
KR – Chris Montgomery, Jr., Charlotte
KR – Kerrith Whyte, Fr., Florida Atlantic
KR – Tyler Wilson, Fr., North Texas
PR – Terry Juniel, So., UTEP
LS – Keaston Sinicki, Sr., Charlotte
LS – Sam Medlock, Sr., FIU
LS – Reed Buce, Jr., Old Dominion
LS – Matt Bayliss, Jr., UTSA
LS – Nolan Dowling, Sr., WKU

About Woody Woodrum

Senior Editor and columnist/writer for Herd Insider since 2003, with Kindred Communications on radio for Marshall football/men's basketball pregame and postgame shows since 1996 and with First Sentry Bank Sportsline (Also Scott on Sports, Sideline Sports and Herd Insider Sportsline) since 1997. Married to Liz (12-22-1990) and one son, Tre' (11-7-1997). National Sportswriters & Sportscasters West Virginia Broadcaster of the Year winner for radio, 2000; won W.Va. Broadcasters Best Talk Show in 2013 with co-host Paul Swann and W.Va. Broadcasters Best Play-by-Play in 2015 with Jason Toy (Huntington at South Charleston, state AAA semifinals). Member of (College) Football Writers Association of America, (College) Basketball Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Color commentator for Marshall football (1999-2000), for Marshall basketball (2004-2016) and Marshall baseball (2004-2016). Color for high school football at Spring Valley (1999-2008), Cabell Midland (2009-2012) and Huntington (W.Va.) High School (2013-2016).

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