IRVING, Texas — A sure sign that the future looks bright.
The Marshall football team landed eight players on the 2016 Conference USA all-league teams, including four on the all-freshman team.
Conference USA released its all-league first team, second team, honorable mention list and all-freshman team on Tuesday, and the lists were voted on by the 13 coaches within the conference.
Marshall — which went 3-9 this fall, with a 2-6 conference record — was the only league team without a player on the first or second team, but the Herd landed four honorable mentions and four all-freshman team honors.
For the second straight season, defensive lineman Gary Thompson and tightend Ryan Yurachek were named all-conference honorable mention.
Thompson — a redshirt senior from La Mesa, California, — came up with 43 tackles, eight tackles for a loss and five sacks this fall. Thompson is the lone senior honoree for the Herd, and he finishes his college career with 150 tackles and 19 sacks.
Yurachek — a junior from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina — hauled in 28 passes for 298 yards and five scores this season. Yurachek has caught at least one pass in 29 consecutive games.
Joining Thompson and Yurachek as all-conference honorable mentions are defensive lineman Ryan Bee and defensive back Rodney Allen.
Bee — a redshirt sophomore from Ashland, Ohio — recorded 54 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks this season. Bee was a Conference USA all-freshman team selection last year.
Allen — a redshirt junior from Dallas, Texas — came up with 76 tackles, 12 pass break-ups, two interceptions and a team-best four forced fumbles this season.
On the all-rookie team for the Herd were redshirt freshmen Ty Tyler and Levi Brown, as well as true freshmen Chris Jackson and Matt Beardall.
Tyler — a defensive end from Punta Gorda, Florida — posted 22 tackles, seven tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks this fall. Tyler found the endzone twice for the MU defense, scoing on a pair of fumble recoveries.
Brown — an offensive lineman from Franklin, Georgia — started the first 11 games of the year for MU.
Jackson — a defensive back from Tallahassee, Florida — recorded 41 tackles, four tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, nine pass break-ups and two interceptions in his inaugural campaign.
Beardall — a long snapper from Merritt Island, Florida — missed the first three games of the year, but appeared in the final nine for the Herd.
On Wednesday, Conference USA announced its awards.
Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz was named Coach of the Year, after leading the Bulldogs to an 8-5 record, including 6-2 in league. The Bulldogs represented the west division in the Conference USA title game, in which they fell to Western Kentucky.
LTU quarterback Ryan Higgins was named conference Most Valuable Player, completing 300-of-456 passes for 4,208 yards and 37 touchdowns.
Bulldogs wide receiver Carlos Henderson earned both the Offensive Player of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year awards, becoming the first player in Conference USA history to win both awards in the same season.
The Defensive Player of the Year award went to Florida Atlantic defensive end Trey Hendrickson, who posted 50 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks this campaign.
The Freshman of the Year award went to University of Texas at San Antonio linebacker Josiah Tauaefa, who recorded a school-record 104 tackles this fall.
The league’s Newcomer of the Year honor went to Western Kentucky quarterback Mike White, who led the Hilltoppers to a second straight-conference title. White completed 67.4 percent of his passes for 4,027 yards and 38 touchdowns in his junior season.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.
2016 All-Conference-USA Football Team
QB – Ryan Higgins, Sr., Louisiana Tech
RB – I’Tavius Mathers, Sr., Middle Tennessee; Aaron Jones, Jr., UTEP
OL – Darrell Brown, Sr., Louisiana Tech; Cameron Tom, Sr., Southern Miss; Will Hernandez, Jr., UTEP; Max Halpin, Sr., WKU; Forrest Lamp, Sr., WKU
TE – Hayden Plinke, Sr., UTEP
WR – Carlos Henderson, Jr., Louisiana Tech; Trent Taylor, Sr., Louisiana Tech; Richie James, So., Middle Tennessee; Taywan Taylor, Sr., WKU
DL – Larry Ogunjobi, Sr., Charlotte; Trey Hendrickson, Sr., Florida Atlantic; Jaylon Ferguson, So., Louisiana Tech; Dylan Bradley, Sr., Southern Miss
LB – TJ Ricks, Sr., Old Dominion; Emmanuel Ellerbee, Jr., Rice; Josiah Tauaefa, Fr., UTSA; Keith Brown, Sr., WKU
DB – Xavier Woods, Sr., Louisiana Tech; Jeremy Cutrer, Sr., Middle Tennessee; D’Nerius Antoine, Sr., Southern Miss; Branden Leston, Sr., WKU
K – Canon Rooker, Jr., Middle Tennessee
P – Eric Keena, Sr., North Texas
KR – Carlos Henderson, Jr., Louisiana Tech
PR – Nacarius Fant, Jr., WKU
LS – William Eads, Sr., Middle Tennessee
QB – Mike White, Jr., WKU
RB – Ito Smith, Jr., Southern Miss; Anthony Wales, Sr., WKU
OL – Joseph Brunson, Sr., Louisiana Tech; O’Shea Dugas, So., Louisiana Tech; Daniel Stephens, Sr., Middle Tennessee; Troy Butler, Sr., Old Dominion; Darrell Williams, Jr., Sr., WKU
TE – Jonnu Smith, Sr., FIU
WR – Zach Pascal, Sr., Old Dominion
WR – Nicholas Norris, Sr., WKU
DL – Rashaad Coward, Sr., Old Dominion; Oshane Ximines, So., Old Dominion; Marcus Davenport, Jr., UTSA; Omarius Bryant, Sr., WKU
LB – Anthony Wint, Jr., FIU; Jordan Harris, Sr., Louisiana Tech; Alvin Jones, Jr., UTEP
DB – Kishawn McClain, Jr., North Texas; Brandon Addison, Jr., Old Dominion; Michael Egwuagu, Sr., UTSA; Joe Brown, Jr., WKU
K – Jonathan Barnes, Jr., Louisiana Tech; Parker Shaunfield, So., Southern Miss
P – Jake Collins, So., WKU
KR – Kylen Towner, Jr., WKU; Trent Taylor, Sr., Louisiana Tech
LS – Darrell Travis, Sr., Louisiana Tech
QB – Brent Stockstill, So., Middle Tennessee; David Washington, Sr., Old Dominion; Nick Mullens, Sr., Southern Miss
RB – Kalif Phillips, Sr., Charlotte; Alex Gardner, Jr., FIU; Devin Singletary, Fr., Florida Atlantic; Jarred Craft, Jr., Louisiana Tech; Ray Lawry, Jr., Old Dominion
OL – Nate Davis, So., Charlotte; Dieugot Joseph, Sr., FIU; Michael Montero, Sr., FIU; Dillon DeBoer, Sr., Florida Atlantic; Antonyo Woods, Jr., Florida Atlantic; Chandler Brewer, So., Middle Tennessee; Josh Chester, Sr., Middle Tennessee; Maurquice Shakir, Sr., Middle Tennessee; Jordan Murray, So., North Texas; Sam Rice, Sr., North Texas; Calvin Anderson, So., Rice; Trey Martin, Jr., Rice; Jevonte Domond, Sr., UTSA
TE – Kam McKnight, So., Louisiana Tech; Ryan Yurachek, Jr., Marshall; Julian Allen, Jr., Southern Miss
WR – Austin Duke, Sr., Charlotte; Thomas Owens, Jr., FIU; Kalib Woods, Jr., Florida Atlantic; Dennis Andrews, Sr., Middle Tennessee; Ty Lee, Fr., Middle Tennessee; Jonathan Duhart, Jr., Old Dominion; Allenzae Staggers, Jr., Southern Miss; Josh Stewart, Jr., UTSA
DL – Brandon Banks, Sr., Charlotte; Aaron Brown, Sr., Louisiana Tech; Deldrick Canty, Jr., Louisiana Tech; Ryan Bee, So., Marshall; Gary Thompson, Sr., Marshall; Chris Hale, Sr., Middle Tennessee; Shaquille Huff, Sr., Middle Tennessee; Jimal McBride, Sr., Middle Tennessee; Steven Rhodes, Sr., Middle Tennessee; Bunmi Rotimi, Jr., Old Dominion; Xavier Thigpen, Jr., Southern Miss; Chris Johnson, Jr., WKU
LB – Nick Cook, Sr., Charlotte; Treyvon Williams, Jr., FIU; Azeez Al-Shaair, So., Florida Atlantic; Russell Farris, Jr., Louisiana Tech; Chris Melton, So., Middle Tennessee; D.J. Sanders, Jr.., Middle Tennessee; Joshua Wheeler, Jr., North Texas; Anthony Wilson, Sr., Old Dominion; Alex Lyons, Sr., Rice; Elijah Parker, Sr., Southern Miss; Nick Usher, Sr., UTEP; Joel Iyiegbuniwe, So., WKU; T.J. McCollum, Jr., WKU
DB – Niko Gonzalez, Jr., FIU; Raekwon Williams, Jr., Florida Atlantic; Jalen Young, So., Florida Atlantic; Secdrick Cooper, Jr., Louisiana Tech; Prince Sam, Sr., Louisiana Tech; Rodney Allen, Jr., Marshall; Nate Brooks, So., North Texas; Eric Jenkins, Jr., North Texas; Tabari McGaskey, Sr., Rice; Jordan Moore, Sr., UTSA; Leverick Johnson, Jr., WKU
K – Austin Taylor, Sr., FIU; Greg Joseph, Jr., Florida Atlantic; Trevor Moore, Jr., North Texas; Skyler Simcox, So., WKU
P – Dalton Schomp, Sr., Florida Atlantic; Jack Fox, So., Rice; Tyler Sarrazin, Sr., Southern Miss; Alan Luna, Jr., UTEP
KR – Chris Montgomery, Jr., Charlotte; Kerrith Whyte, Fr., Florida Atlantic; Tyler Wilson, Fr., North Texas
PR – Terry Juniel, So., UTEP
LS – Keaston Sinicki, Sr., Charlotte; Sam Medlock, Sr., FIU; Reed Buce, Jr., Old Dominion; Matt Bayliss, Jr., UTSA; Nolan Dowling, Sr., WKU
QB – Mason Fine, North Texas
RB – Devin Singletary, Florida Atlantic; Quinton Baker, WKU
OL – Ethan Reed, Louisiana Tech; Levi Brown, Marshall; Devin Hannan, Old Dominion; Ty Pollard, Southern Miss; Greg Long, UTEP
TE – Harrison Bryant, Florida Atlantic
WR – Stantley Thomas, FIU; Ty Lee, Middle Tennessee
DL – Eric Kendzior, Louisiana Tech; Ty Tyler, Marshall; Tyshun Render, Middle Tennessee; LaDarius Hamilton, North Texas; Chris Richardson, UTEP
LB – Tyriq Harris, Charlotte; Jayson VanHook, UTEP; Josiah Tauaefa, UTSA
DB – Ben DeLuca, Charlotte; Ephraim Kitchen, Louisiana Tech; Chris Jackson, Marshall; Justin Rogers, UTEP
K – Brad Davis, Old Dominion
P – Bailey Cate, Old Dominion
KR – Kerrith Whyte, Florida Atlantic
PR – Darrell Brown, Old Dominion
LS – Matt Beardall, Marshall