Bush, Foster, Gay named All-CUSA Freshmen

Freshmen Michael Bush, Renardo Foster and William Gay were named to the C-USA All-Freshmen team today.

Conference USA announced its 2003 All-Freshman football team today, as selected by the league's 11 head football coaches and media members in each conference city. Houston produced a conference-high six selections on the team, while TCU and Tulane had the second-most selections with four each.

Headlining Houston's selections is quarterback Kevin Kolb. A true freshman, Kolb tops all first-year passers in Division I-A in completions (201), passing yards (2,799) and passing touchdowns (23), while throwing just four interceptions all season long. Kolb has also rushed for 339 yards and seven touchdowns while guiding the Cougars to their first bowl game since 1996. Among the Cougars other choices is Ricky Wilson, who was named to the team as a defensive back and as a kick returner.

TCU's four choices include RB Robert Merrill, the second straight Horned Frog freshman to rush for 1,000 yards. Despite not playing in the season opener, Merrill finished the regular season with 1,081 yards and four touchdowns, producing five 100-yard games. TCU also produced a player that was honored at two positions, with Cory Rodgers earning notoriety at wide receiver and as a punt returner.

Three defensive selections lead Tulane's four representatives on the team. Defensive End Billy Harrison led all Conference USA freshmen with 65 tackles, while linebacker Kelvin Johnson had 49 stops and six tackles for loss and defensive back Israel Route posted 45 tackles and four pass breakups.

Louisville, East Carolina and Southern Miss each had three All-Freshman selections. U of L's versatile Michael Bush was chosen as a running back, but played three different positions throughout the year, including quarterback and wide receiver. Bush ran for 470 yards and six touchdowns, caught 17 passes for 240 yards and a score and also threw one TD. East Carolina features one of the top punters in the nation in Ryan Dougherty, who topped Conference USA in punting average at 44.5. Southern Miss had players chosen on offense, defense and special teams, where Darren McCaleb solidified the Golden Eagles kicking situation, hitting 14 field goals and finishing the regular season with 73 points.

Some of the other most notable selections include UAB defensive Jermain McElveen, USF linebacker Stephen Nicholas and ECU defensive back Erode Jean. McElveen, who has been honored as a Freshman All-American, posted 63 tackles, six sacks, six pass breakups and 22 quarterback hurries. Nicholas registered 45 stops, with 11 TFL's and 5.5 sacks. Jean posted 50 tackles, to go along with two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Conference USA will announce its Freshman of the Year on Thursday, December 4.



Quarterback – Kevin Kolb, Houston
Running Back- Michael Bush, Louisville
Running Back- Robert Merrill, TCU
Offensive Lineman- Blake Butler, Memphis
Offensive Lineman- Travis Cooley, Southern Miss
Offensive Lineman- Renardo Foster, Louisville
Offensive Lineman- Derek Rogers, Tulane
Offensive Lineman- Herbert Taylor, TCU
Tight End- Josh Coffman, East Carolina
Wide Receiver- Leonard Gibson, Houston
Wide Receiver- Cory Rodgers, TCU

Defensive Lineman- Greg Casnave, Southern Miss
Defensive Lineman- Billy Harrison, Tulane
Defensive Lineman- Marquay Love, Houston
Defensive Lineman- Jermaine McElveen, UAB
Linebacker- Kelvin Johnson, Tulane
Linebacker- Wade Koehl, Houston
Linebacker- Stephen Nicholas, USF
Defensive Back- William Gay, Louisville
Defensive Back- Erode Jean, East Carolina
Defensive Back- Israel Route, Tulane
Defensive Back- Ricky Wilson, Houston

Placekicker- Darren McCaleb, Southern Miss
Punter- Ryan Dougherty, East Carolina
Kick Returner- Ricky Wilson, Houston
Punt Returner- Cory Rodgers, TCU

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