Two Louisville players, sophomore quarterback Brian Brohm and senior defensive end Elvis Dumervil, have received BIG EAST postseason awards. Brohm was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year, while Dumervil earned Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Rutgers junior return specialist Willie Foster garnered Special Teams Player of the Year accolades. West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez and freshman running back Steve Slaton were also rewarded after helping guide the Mountaineers to a BIG EAST title. Rodriguez was named the league's Coach of the Year. Slaton was tabbed as the conference's Rookie of the Year.
The All-BIG EAST First and Second Teams were also announced. All selections were made by the league's head coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own players.
Brohm helped lead Louisville to a 9-2 overall record and a 5-2 conference mark in the Cardinals' first season as a member of the BIG EAST. Louisville accepted an invitation to play in the Toyota Gator Bowl versus Virginia Tech on Jan. 2. Brohm completed 207-of-301 passes (68.8 percent) for 2,883 yards, 19 touchdowns and just five interceptions this season. He led the BIG EAST in passing efficiency (166.7), completion percentage, passing yards and touchdowns. Brohm ranks second nationally in passing efficiency and 17th in total offense (284.7).
Dumervil also won the 2005 Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given annually to the best defensive player in college football. He led the nation this season with 20 sacks (1.82 per game) and 10 forced fumbles (0.91). He was second in the country in tackles for loss with 22 (2.0). Dumervil registered nine sacks in his first two games of the season to break the two-game NCAA Division I-A record.
Foster was the top return specialist for a Rutgers team that went 7-4 overall and 4-3 in the BIG EAST to earn a spot in the Insight Bowl versus Arizona State (Dec. 27) - the program's first bowl appearance since the 1978 Garden State Bowl. Foster was among the conference leaders in both kickoff and punt return average. He returned 15 punts for 164 yards (10.9 avg.) and one touchdown. Foster also returned 27 kickoffs for 633 yards (23.4 avg.) and one score.
Brian Brohm was named Big East
Offensive Player of Year.
Slaton anchored one of the nation's top rushing attacks. West Virginia ranks fifth nationally in rushing yards per game (262.5). The true freshman, who didn't start his first game until Oct. 8 at Rutgers, finished the season with 924 yards rushing on 179 attempts (5.2 avg.). Slaton also rushed for 14 touchdowns and caught two more. He ranks third in the conference in rushing (102.7 ypg.) and second in scoring (10.7 ppg.).
Rodriguez won Coach of the Year honors for the second time in his five-year career at West Virginia. He also earned the honor in 2003. This season, West Virginia (10-1, 7-0 BIG EAST) won the BIG EAST title and is the conference representative in the BCS. The Mountaineers will play Georgia in the Nokia Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2. WVU has won at least a share of the BIG EAST title in each of the last three years. This is the first time since 1993 that the Mountaineers have posted an undefeated mark in league play. In addition, West Virginia has 10 wins in a season for the first time since 1993 and just the fifth time in school history. Currently in his fifth season at the helm of the Mountaineers, Rodriguez owns a 38-22 record (.633).
Brohm and Louisville teammate Joshua Tinch were the only unanimous All-BIG EAST First Team selections. Tinch, a senior wide receiver for the Cardinals, caught 64 passes for 800 yards and three touchdowns this season.
The All-BIG EAST First Team selections include five repeat choices from the 2004 All-BIG EAST First Team, Rutgers tight end Clark Harris and defensive end Ryan Neill, Pittsburgh linebacker H.B. Blades and West Virginia center Dan Mozes and safety Jahmile Addae.
2005 BIG EAST FOOTBALL AWARDS
BIG EAST OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Brian Brohm, Louisville, QB, Sophomore, 6-4, 224, Louisville, Ky./Trinity
BIG EAST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Elvis Dumervil, Louisville, DE, Senior, 6-0, 256, Miami, Fla./Miami-Jackson
BIG EAST SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Willie Foster, Rutgers, WR, Junior, 5-10, 170, Miami, Fla./Miami Central
BIG EAST ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Steve Slaton, West Virginia, RB, Freshman, 5-10, 195, Levittown, Pa./Conwell-Egan
BIG EAST COACH OF THE YEAR
Rich Rodriguez, West Virginia, 38-22 (.633) - 5th Season at WVU
2005 ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM
WR **Joshua Tinch Louisville Sr. 6-3 223 Albany, Ga./Westover
WR Greg Lee Pittsburgh Jr. 6-2 200 Tampa, Fla./Chamberlain
OT Garin Justice West Virginia Sr. 6-8 300 Gilbert, W.Va./Gilbert
OG John Glass Rutgers Sr. 6-5 300 Allentown, Pa./University of New Haven
C Dan Mozes West Virginia Jr. 6-4 280 Washington, Pa./Washington
OG Jason Spitz Louisville Sr. 6-4 308 Jacksonville, Fla./Bolles
OT Travis Leffew Louisville Sr. 6-4 301 Danville, Ky./Boyle
TE Clark Harris Rutgers Jr. 6-6 255 Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional
QB **Brian Brohm Louisville So. 6-4 224 Louisville, Ky./Trinity
RB Michael Bush Louisville Jr. 6-3 250 Louisville, Ky./Male
RB Andre Hall USF Sr. 5-10 205 St. Petersburg, Fla./Dixie Hollins JC
PK Art Carmody Louisville So. 5-8 181 Shreveport, La./Loyola College
KR/PR Willie Foster Rutgers Jr. 5-10 170 Miami, Fla./Miami Central
DL Elvis Dumervil Louisville Sr. 6-0 256 Miami, Fla./Miami Jackson
DL Ryan Neill Rutgers Sr. 6-3 265 Wayne Hills, N.J./Wayne Hills
DL Ryan LaCasse Syracuse Sr. 6-3 255 Stoughton, Mass./Stoughton
DL Ernest Hunter West Virginia Sr. 6-4 295 Burke, Va./Lake Braddock
LB James Hargrave Connecticut Sr. 5-11 224 Pleasantville, N.J,/St. Joseph
LB H.B. Blades Pittsburgh Jr. 6-0 240 Plantation, Fla./Plantation
LB Kevin McLee West Virginia Jr. 6-1 245 Uniontown, Pa./Uniontown
CB Bernard "Josh" Lay Pittsburgh Sr. 6-2 195 Aliquippa, Pa./Valley Forge Military Acad. (Pa.)
CB Darrelle Revis Pittsburgh So. 6-0 190 Aliquippa, Pa./Aliquippa
S Anthony Smith Syracuse Sr. 6-1 187 Hubbard, Ohio/Hubbard
S Jahmile Addae West Virginia Sr. 6-0 205 Valrico, Fla./Riverview
S Mike Lorello West Virginia Sr. 6-1 200 Powell, Ohio/Worthington-Kilbourne
P Brendan Carney Syracuse Jr. 6-5 202 Valley Forge, Pa./Malvern Prep
2005 ALL-BIG EAST SECOND TEAM
WR Mario Urrutia Louisville Fr. 6-6 220 Louisville, Ky./Fern Creek
WR Tres Moses Rutgers Sr. 5-10 191 Delray Beach, Fla./Atlantic
OT Theodric Watson USF Jr. 6-5 295 St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood
OG Jeremy Sheffey West Virginia Jr. 6-3 290 Catlettsburg, Ky./Boyd County
C John Miller USF Sr. 6-0 275 Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Central
OG Frank Davis USF Sr. 6-4 310 Republic of Panama/Kilpatrick
OT Charles Spencer Pittsburgh Sr. 6-5 330 Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Trinity-Pawling School
TE Dan Murray Connecticut Jr. 6-5 244 Gloucester, Mass/Gloucester
QB Tyler Palko Pittsburgh Jr. 6-2 220 Imperial, Pa./West Allegheny
RB Brian Leonard Rutgers Jr. 6-2 235 Gouverneur, N.Y./Gouverneur
RB Steve Slaton West Virginia Fr. 5-10 195 Levittown, Pa./Conwell-Egan
PK Josh Cummings Pittsburgh Sr. 5-11 205 Newhall, Calif./College of the Canyons JC
KR/PR Antonio Lewis West Virginia So. 5-10 190 Waldorf, Md./Stone
DL Rhema Fuller Connecticut Jr. 6-3 283 Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa
DL Deon McPhee Connecticut Sr. 6-2 284 Abaco, Bahamas/Abaco Cen./The Bolles School
DL Montavious Stanley Louisville Sr. 6-2 321 Albany, Ga./Westover
DL Terrence Royal USF Sr. 6-3 255 Tampa, Fla./Wharton
LB Corey Smith Cincinnati Fr. 6-1 215 Salem, N.J./Salem
LB Brandon Johnson Louisville Sr. 6-5 218 Birmingham, Ala./Minor
LB Stephen Nicholas USF Jr. 6-3 225 Jacksonville, Fla./Lee
CB Mike Mickens Cincinnati Fr. 6-0 165 Huber Heights, Ohio/Wayne
CB Mike Jenkins USF So. 6-0 200 Bradenton, Fla./Southeast
CB Anthony Mims West Virginia Sr. 6-0 190 Los Angeles, Calif./Fairfax
S Tez Morris Pittsburgh Jr. 5-10 190 Hamilton, Ohio/Hamilton
S Johnnie Jones USF Sr. 6-3 215 Sarasota, Fla./Booker
S Eric Wicks West Virginia Jr. 6-1 215 Pittsburgh, Pa./Perry
P Phil Brady West Virginia Sr. 5-9 185 Fairfax, Va./Robinson
** - unanimous selection
Ties in the voting created additional positions for safety (first team), cornerback (second team) and safety (second team).