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December 6, 2007
Rivals.com All-Conference USA Team
Rivals.com 2007 All-Conference USA Team
QB Paul Smith, Tulsa, Sr., 6-2/193
HIGH SCHOOL: Owasso (Okla.) High
BUZZ: Smith is second in the nation with 42 TD passes and has thrown for 4,753 yards and completed 60.1 percent of his passes. He's the main reason Tulsa leads the nation in total offense.
RB Matt Forte, Tulane, Sr., 6-2/225
HIGH SCHOOL: Slidell (La.) High
BUZZ: He led the nation in rushing for much of the season but is second now, at 177.3 yards per game (2,127 rushing yards). Forte also has scored 23 rushing TDs and averaged 5.9 yards per carry.
RB Kevin Smith, UCF, Jr., 6-1/210
HIGH SCHOOL: Miami Southridge
BUZZ: Meet the nation's leading rusher, at 188.2 yards per game. He has 2,448 yards and is 181 yards away from setting the NCAA single-season rushing mark, which is held by Barry Sanders. Smith ran for 217 yards against NC State and 149 against Texas. He also ran for 332 against UAB and had 200-yard days against Louisiana-Lafayette, UTEP and Tulsa. His lone day under 100 yards came in a loss to USF.
WR Donnie Avery, Houston, Sr., 5-11/190
HIGH SCHOOL: Houston Hastings
BUZZ: Avery leads the league with 81 catches and 1,336 receiving yards. He averaged 16.5 yards per catch and has scored seven TDs.
WR Jarett Dillard, Rice, Jr., 5-11/180
HIGH SCHOOL: San Antonio Sam Houston
BUZZ: He came on strong in the second half of the season to post his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. He had 1,057 yards this season and had 1,247 last season. Dillard had 79 catches and 14 TD receptions for the Owls this season.
TE Cody Slate, Marshall, Soph., 6-4/212
HIGH SCHOOL: Chipley (Fla.) High
BUZZ: Slate led the Herd with 66 catches for 818 yards. He also tied for the team lead with five TD receptions. He had seven games with at least six receptions.
OT Jeff Akeroyd, Houston, Sr., 6-3/295
HIGH SCHOOL: Lubbock (Texas) Monterey
BUZZ: He was expected to play guard but instead slid outside in the Cougars' productive offense. Akeroyd was the best lineman on a team that averages 513.2 yards and 36.3 points per game.
OT Josh Sitton, UCF, Sr., 6-3/305
HIGH SCHOOL: Pensacola (Fla.) Catholic
BUZZ: Sitton was the most consistent line performer for the Knights and helped open holes for Kevin Smith, the nation's leading rusher. Sitton, a three-year starter, also played a few games at guard this season.
OG Justin Morsey, Tulsa, Jr., 6-2/282
HIGH SCHOOL: Sapulpa (Okla.) High
BUZZ: Morsey, a JC transfer, was the steadiest lineman for a Golden Hurricane team that leads the nation in total offense (542.5 ypg).
OG Andy Smith, Memphis, Sr., 6-4/307
HIGH SCHOOL: Fayetteville (Ga.) Starr's Mill
BUZZ: The three-year starter helped the Tigers overcome a 2-4 start to finish 7-5 and earn a New Orleans Bowl bid. The Tigers are third in the lead in total offense (447.4 ypg). He already has a degree in geography and is pursuing a master's in the same subject.
C Aryan Barto, Tulane, Sr., 6-4/280
HIGH SCHOOL: Houston Stratford
BUZZ: Barto was the best lineman on a unit that paved the way for Matt Forte's big season. The Green Wave averaged 201.0 rushing yards per game and ran for 26 TDs. Besides being a good lineman, Barto is a touted cellist.
DE Phillip Hunt, Houston, Jr., 6-2/250
HIGH SCHOOL: Fort Worth (Texas) Dunbar
BUZZ: Hunt is the most disruptive lineman in Conference USA. He leads the league with 9.5 sacks and also has 49 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 10 pass breakups, six quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles. Oh, yeah – he also has an interception.
DE Leger Douzable, UCF, Sr., 6-4/295
HIGH SCHOOL: Tampa Alonso
BUZZ: Douzable, who played defensive tackle earlier in his career, was the Knights' best defensive lineman – and may have been their best defensive player. He has 7.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss to go along with 46 total tackles and 11 quarterback hurries.
DT Martavious Prince, Southern Miss, Sr., 6-3/295
HIGH SCHOOL: Fort Pierce (Fla.) Westwood
BUZZ: Prince is a load in the middle of the line. He has 10.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He also has 39 tackles and a blocked kick.
LB Chris Chamberlain, Tulsa, Sr., 6-2/225
HIGH SCHOOL: Bethany (Okla.) High
BUZZ: He leads the league with 148 tackles, and has seven tackles for loss and three interceptions. He also has seen spot duty as a fullback on offense and rushed for a TD against Louisiana-Monroe.
LB Nelson Coleman, Tulsa, Sr., 6-2/235
HIGH SCHOOL: Dallas Skyline
BUZZ: He wasn't quite as productive as his teammate, Chris Chamberlain, but it was close. Coleman has 137 tackles, eight tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He has added a pick, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
LB Gerald McRath, Southern Miss, Soph., 6-3/213
HIGH SCHOOL: Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern
BUZZ: McRath was the leader of a solid defense. He has 131 tackles, including 21 against UCF and 15 against Tennessee. He has 9.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.
LB Pierre Bell, East Carolina, Jr., 6-2/238
HIGH SCHOOL: Vanceboro (N.C.) West Craven
BUZZ: He has 88 tackles to lead bowl-bound ECU in that category. He has four tackles for loss, two interceptions, three quarterback hurries, two pass breakups and a forced fumble.
CB Quintin Demps, UTEP, Sr., 6-1/205
HIGH SCHOOL: San Antonio Roosevelt
BUZZ: Demps moved from safety to cornerback this season and had a solid season. He finished with five picks, and two of those he returned 100 yards for touchdowns (against New Mexico State and UCF). He also had 72 tackles, 4.5 sacks, nine pass breakups and a blocked kick. He also returned kicks and punts for the Miners.
CB Brandon Sumrall, Southern Miss, Sr., 5-11/197
HIGH SCHOOL: Beaumont (Miss.) Perry Central
BUZZ: Sumrall has five picks, including one he returned for a touchdown against Memphis. He also has 91 tackles, six pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
SS Sha'reff Rashad, UCF, Sr., 6-0/200
HIGH SCHOOL: Jacksonville Episcopal
BUZZ: Rashad led the Knights with 94 tackles. He had four interceptions, including one per week in a three-week midseason stretch, seven pass breakups and a forced fumble.
FS C.J. Spillman, Marshall, Jr., 6-0/193
HIGH SCHOOL: Louisville Central
BUZZ: He was tied for third in the league in tackles with 131. He had six pass breakups, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
K Swayze Waters, UAB, Jr., 6-0/170
HIGH SCHOOL: Jackson (Miss.) Prep
BUZZ: Waters was 22-of-28 on field-goal attempts, and also averaged 41.4 yards per punt. Waters was 11-of-14 on attempts of longer than 40 yards, including 3-of-4 from beyond 50.
P Thomas Morstead, SMU, Jr., 6-5/215
HIGH SCHOOL: Pearland (Texas) High
BUZZ: Morstead led the league and was ninth nationally at 44.7 yards per punt. He also was 13-of-20 on field goals for the Mustangs.
KR Curtis Francis, UCF, Sr., 5-10/180
HIGH SCHOOL: Green Cove Springs (Fla.) Clay County
BUZZ: Francis, a backup tailback, had 22 returns for 643 yards, a 29.2-yard average. He had one return that went for a TD, against East Carolina; he was one of six C-USA players with a kickoff return for a touchdown.
PR Joe Burnett, UCF, Soph., 5-11/183
HIGH SCHOOL: Eustis (Fla.) High
BUZZ: Burnett is one of the best cornerbacks in the league, and doubles as a dangerous punt returner. He was second in the league with 25 returns and second at 11.1 yards per return. He had one return for a touchdown, in the C-USA title game against Tulsa.
ALL-PURPOSE Chris Johnson, East Carolina, Sr. 5-11/200
HIGH SCHOOL: Orlando Olympia
BUZZ: Johnson has piled up 2,552 yards of all-purpose offense, leading the nation at 212.7 yards per game. Johnson, who is the Pirates' starting tailback, has rushed for 1,200 yards and 16 TDs (he scored a rushing TD in every game but two). He has added 496 receiving yards (and five more TDs) and 856 kick-return yards (and one TD). He scored four TDs in a game twice, in victories over UCF (two on the ground, one in the air and one on a return) Memphis (four runs).