(Photo Courtesy: USA Today Sports)
While picking All-Conference teams in the American, MAC and Mountain West was an overwhelming task simply because of the sheer returning talent, in Conference USA it was kind of the opposite; with so much departing talent- not to mention all the departing teams- it was actually kind of hard.
As a matter of fact, if there was one way I’d best describe the task, it was a lot like trying to put together a three-course dinner with a blindfold on; not only was it stressful, but also a bit hazardous to my health. Simply put, you wouldn’t believe how many times I looked over WAC, Sun Belt and Conference USA stats from last season, trying to figure out not only who returned for 2013, but which teams are even playing in this conference to begin with.
(By the way, if, like me, you’re not entirely sure who will be in Conference USA during the 2013 season, I direct you to this handy guide my colleague Kevin McGuire put together).
Anyway, after about two hours, 25 opened Internet Explorer tabs, and a mid-morning beer or two, here is Crystal Ball Run’s 2013 Preseason All-Conference USA picks!
QB: Rakeem Cato, junior, Marshall (4,201 yards passing, 37 touchdowns, 11 interceptions)
RB: Darrin Reaves, junior, UAB (1,037, 13 touchdowns)
RB: Kenneth Dixon, junior, Louisiana Tech (1,194 yards, 27 touchdowns)
WR: Justin Hardy, junior, East Carolina (88 catches, 1,105 yards, 11 touchdowns)
WR: Tommy Shuler, junior, Marshall (110 catches, 1,138 yards, six touchdowns)
TE: Gator Hoskins, senior, Marshall (35 catches, 374 yards, 10 touchdowns)
OL: LaChris Aniyam, senior, North Texas
OL: Will Simmons, senior, East Carolina
OL: Steven Warner, senior, Louisiana Tech
OL: Gabe Moyer, senior, Tulsa
OL: Antonio Johnson, junior, North Texas
DL: IK Enemkpali, senior, Louisiana Tech (32 tackles, 7.5 TFL’s, six sacks)
DL: Cody Bauer, senior, Rice (51 tackles, 12 TFL’s, 5.5 sacks)
DL: Aaron Bellazin, senior, North Texas (32 tackles, nine TFL’s, five sacks)
DL: Horace Miller, senior, UTEP (31 tackles, 7.5 TFL’s, six sacks)
LB: Zach Orr, senior, North Texas (108 tackles, 3.5 TFL’s, two interceptions)
LB: Derrell Johnson, senior, East Carolina (62 tackles, 11 TFL’s, 6.5 sacks)
LB: Jermaine Holmes, junior, Marshall (81 tackles, 12.5 TFL’s, one sacks)
DB: Tristan Wade, junior, Texas-San Antonio (65 tackles, three interceptions)
DB: Kevin Byord, sophomore, Middle Tennessee State (74 tackles, four interceptions)
DB: D.J. Hunter, sophomore, Marshall (102 tackles, 3.5 TFL’s)
DB: Lorenzo Doss, sophomore, Tulane (44 tackles, five interceptions)
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