Nine Huskies Honored

Nine Connecticut football players have received All-Big East postseason football honors, as chosen by the conference's eight head coaches.

Three Huskies – center Moe Petrus, kicker Dave Teggart, and defensive lineman Kendall Reyes – were first team selections. Offensive tackle Mike Ryan, tight end Ryan Griffin, running back Lyle McCombs, defensive lineman Trevardo Williams, cornerback Dwayne Gratz, and punter Cole Wagner were all second-team choices.

Petrus has been a mainstay on the Husky offense line during his career as he made 52-straight career starts and 39 at center. During his career, he blocked for five individual 1,000-yard rushing seasons

Reyes started 42 games during his UConn career and was third on the UConn team with 13.5 tackles for loss while making 46 total tackles. For his career, he had 31.5 tackles for a loss – tenth in school history

Teggart, like Petrus and Reyes, was a four-year standout and holds the UConn career records for field goals (74), extra points (128) and points (349). Teggart kicked a field goal in 22 of his final 25 collegiate games and had multiple field goals in eight games this year and had 11 career games with three or more field goals

McCombs rushed for 1,115 yards this season – the ninth-highest in school single-season history and the second among freshmen at UConn

Gratz made 53 tackles on the season and had three interceptions while Griffin was third on the UConn team with 33 receptions for three touchdowns. Ryan was a steady presence on the offensive line to help McCombs to his rushing totals while Wagner averaged 41.1 yards per punt with 21 inside the 20-yard line.

Following is the entire release from the Big East:

Providence, R.I. – Cincinnati, Louisville and West Virginia – which finished in a three-way tie for the BIG EAST title – joined Rutgers as schools that had individual winners of the BIG EAST postseason football honors as chosen by the league's eight head coaches.

Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year, while defensive tackle Derek Wolfe joined Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene as the BIG EAST Defensive Players of the Year. West Virginia wide receiver and return specialist Tavon Austin was tabbed as BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year, while Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was the unanimous choice as BIG EAST Rookie of the Year. Cincinnati coach Butch Jones was tabbed by his counterparts as BIG EAST Coach of the Year.

The conference also announced the selections to its All-BIG EAST First and Second Teams, highlighted by Pead and Austin – the two unanimous selections to the first team.

Pead becomes the first Cincinnati player to be named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year and the fourth consecutive running back to earn the honor. Pead led the BIG EAST with 11 rushing touchdowns and was second in the conference in rushing, averaging 92.5 yards per game. He enters the postseason with 1,110 rushing yards and ranks second in the BIG EAST in scoring – first among non-kickers – with 84 points. Pead, who was unanimously chosen to the All-BIG EAST First Team, also had 36 receptions for 304 yards and three touchdowns. He ranked second in the BIG EAST in all-purpose yards, averaging 124.1 yards per game.

Wolfe is the first Cincinnati player to be named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year following a regular season in which he led the BIG EAST with 19.5 tackles for loss and had 9.5 sacks. He is the focal point of a Bearcat defense that limited opponents to just 92.7 rushing yards per game – good for second in the BIG EAST – and a league-low eight rushing touchdowns.

Greene likewise becomes the first Rutgers player to be chosen as BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year. Greene finished the regular season with a BIG EAST-leading 127 tackles – 20 more than anyone else in the conference – while averaging 10.6 stops per game. He is the key man on a Scarlet Knight defense that leads the BIG EAST in total defense (311.5 yards per game) and scoring defense (18.8 points per game).

Austin is the third West Virginia player to earn BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year honors, joining punter Todd Sauerbrun, who won in 1994, and cornerback Adam Jones, who was the 2004 selection. Austin was chosen to the All-BIG EAST First Team at two positions, getting the nod at wide receiver in addition to his unanimous selection at the return specialist spot. He leads the BIG EAST and is ranked second nationally in all-purpose yards (191.2 yards per game), is the league leader in punt returns (14.1 yards per return) and is second in the conference in kickoff returns (26.5 yards per return). Austin is the only BIG EAST player to return two kickoffs for touchdowns this season.

Bridgewater is the third Louisville player in the last four years to be named BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, joining a pair of teammates – running back Victor Anderson, who was selected in 2008, and safety Hakeem Smith, who was chosen last year. Bridgewater became Louisville's starting quarterback in the fourth game of the season and led the Cardinals to five wins in their last six games to earn a share of the BIG EAST championship. He enters the postseason ranked third in the BIG EAST in pass efficiency rating (136.1) after throwing for 1,855 yards and 12 touchdowns in the regular season.

Jones becomes Cincinnati's fourth BIG EAST Coach of the Year selection, joining three-time winner Brian Kelly. Jones engineered a five-win turnaround from last season, leading Cincinnati to a share of the BIG EAST championship and an appearance in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl after a 9-3 regular season. The Bearcats were picked fifth in the BIG EAST preseason media poll, but ended up earning a share of their third conference title in four years.

Connecticut kicker Dave Teggart, Connecticut defensive lineman Kendall Reyes and West Virginia cornerback Keith Tandy are the three repeat selections to the All-BIG EAST First Team.

2011 BIG EAST CONFERENCE FOOTBALL AWARDS

BIG EAST CONFERENCE OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati (Sr., Columbus, Ohio)

BIG EAST CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati (Sr., Lisbon, Ohio)

Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers (Jr., Elizabeth, N.J.)

BIG EAST CONFERENCE SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia (Jr., Baltimore, Md.)

BIG EAST CONFERENCE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville (Fr., Miami, Fla.)

BIG EAST CONFERENCE COACH OF THE YEAR

Butch Jones, Cincinnati

ALL-BIG EAST CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

WR, Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers,

WR, Tavon Austin, West Virginia

OT, Justin Pugh, Syracuse

OT, Don Barclay, West Virginia

OG, Randy Martinez, Cincinnati

OG, Art Forst, Rutgers

OG, Andrew Tiller, Syracuse

C, Moe Petrus, Connecticut

TE, Nick Provo, Syracuse

QB, Geno Smith, West Virginia

RB, Isaiah Pead *, Cincinnati

RB, Ray Graham, Pittsburgh

RB, Antwon Bailey, Syracuse

K, Dave Teggart, Connecticut

RS, Tavon Austin *, West Virginia

DEFENSE

Pos., Player, School

DL, Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati

DL, Kendall Reyes, Connecticut

DL, Chandler Jones, Syracuse

DL, Bruce Irvin, West Virginia

LB, J.K. Schaffer, Cincinnati

MLB, Khaseem Greene, Rutgers

LB, Najee Goode, West Virginia

CB, Adrian Bushell, Louisville

CB, Keith Tandy, West Virginia

S, Drew Frey, Cincinnati

S, Hakeem Smith, Louisville

S, Jarred Holley, Pittsburgh

S, Duron Harmon, Rutgers

ALL-BIG EAST CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

Pos., Player, School

WR, Alec Lemon, Syracuse

WR, Stedman Bailey, West Virginia

OT, Alex Hoffman, Cincinnati

OT, Mike Ryan, Connecticut

OG, Desmond Wynn, Rutgers

OG, Jeremiah Warren,USF

C, Joe Madsen, West Virginia

QB, Zach Collaros, Cincinnati

TE, Ryan Griffin, Connecticut

RB, Lyle McCombs, Connecticut

RB, Darrell Scott, USF

K, Maikon Bonani, USF

RS, Jeremy Deering, Rutgers

DEFENSE

Pos., Player, School

DL, Trevardo Williams, Connecticut

DL, Chas Alecxih, Pittsburgh

DL, Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh

DL, Ryne Giddins, USF

LB, Dexter Heyman, Louisville

LB, Max Gruder, Pittsburgh

LB, Marquis Spruill, Syracuse

CB, Dwayne Gratz, Connecticut

CB, Antwuan Reed, Pittsburgh

CB, Logan Ryan, Rutgers

CB, Kayvon Webster, USF

S, Jerrell Young, USF

S, Eain Smith, West Virginia

P, Cole Wagner, Connecticut

P, Justin Doerner, Rutgers

Additional players added to the All-BIG EAST teams due to ties in the voting

Information from UConn athletics communications included.


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