Seven Blue Raiders HonoredDecember 3, 2002 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Sun Belt Conference announced the 2002 all-league team today and seven Middle Tennessee players were honored. Three Blue Raiders were voted first team all-SBC, while four were placed on the second team.
Offensive tackle Brandon Westbrook, punter Robert Billings and all-purpose back ReShard Lee earned first team recognition, while center Glen Elarbee, running back Dwone Hicks, wide receiver Tyrone Calico, and placekicker Brian Kelly were placed on the second team.
"I am very proud of these players," Head Coach Andy McCollum said. "They all had solid years and are very deserving, but every one of them would trade the recognition to be playing one more game."
Westbrook is the only Blue Raider to earn first team honors two years in a row. The Outland Trophy candidate enjoyed a solid season in helping the Blue Raiders turn in their third straight 1,000-yard rusher. Westbrook recorded over 100 knockdowns in 2002 and graded out at 73 percent or better nine times.
Billings, who led the league in punting with a 42.6-yard average, is currently ranked 17th nationally. The Collierville, TN, native had 18 punts downed inside the opponents' 20-yard line and registered a career-best 68-yarder at New Mexico State. Billings was a second team performer in 2001.
Lee, one of the more versatile players in the country, was second on the team in rushing with 642 yards. Lee, who was a second team running back in 2001, earned starts at quarterback and running back during the season, while also returning kicks.
Elarbee, who led the Blue Raiders in snaps played, made the second unit for the second straight year, while Tyrone Calico earned his first all-league honor. Kelly was acknowledged for the first time in his career after making 10 of 13 field goals and 31 of 32 extra point attempts.
Hicks, last year's offensive player of the year and a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate, missed two games due to injury which cost him a repeat performance. The senior rushed for 1,011 yards, including 741 yards over his last five games (148.2). The Huntsville, AL, native became just the second player in school history to record three straight 1,000-yard seasons.
Following is a list of this year's award winners and all-conference selections:
Player of the Year - Brandon Kennedy, Jr., DL, North Texas
Offensive Player of the Year - Danny Smith, Sr., RB, Arkansas State
Defensive Player of the Year - Brandon Kennedy, Jr., DL, North Texas
Newcomer of the Year - Jonathan Burke, Jr., DB, Arkansas State
Freshman of the Year - Paul Dombrowski, QB, New Mexico State
Coach of the Year - Darrell Dickey, North Texas
First Team - Offense
OL - *Shalimar Jackson, Sr., New Mexico State; Garry Johnson, Sr., Arkansas
State; J.R. Randle, Sr., North Texas; Nick Zuniga, Jr., North Texas; Brandon
Westbrook, Jr., Middle Tennessee
TE - *Jeff Muenchow, Sr., North Texas
WR - Mack Vincent, Jr., Louisiana-Monroe; Fred Stamps, Jr.,
QB - Brian Lindgren, Jr., Idaho
RB - *Kevin Galbreath, Sr., North Texas; *Danny Smith, Sr., Arkansas State
First Team - Defense
DL - *Brandon Kennedy, Jr., North Texas; Corey Williams, Sr., Arkansas
State; John Bradley, Sr., Arkansas State; Darrell Daniels, Sr., North Texas
LB - Taylor Casey, Jr., North Texas; Cody Spencer, Jr., North Texas; Jordan
Kramer, Sr., Idaho
DB - *Charles Tillman, Sr., Louisiana-Lafayette; *Siddeeq Shabazz, Sr., New
Mexico State; Don McGee, Sr., North Texas; Craig Jones, Jr., North Texas
First Team - Special Teams
PK - *Dario Aguiniga, Jr., New Mexico State
P - Robert Billings, Jr., Middle Tennessee
Return Specialist - James Hickenbotham, Sr., Arkansas State
All-Purpose - ReShard Lee, So., Middle Tennessee
Second Team - Offense
OL - B.J. Van Briesen, Sr., New Mexico State; Jonathon Raush, Sr.,
Louisiana-Lafayette; Matt Turney, Sr., North Texas; Glen Elarbee, Sr.,
Middle Tennessee; John Crossley, Sr., Arkansas State
TE - Josh Joerg, Jr., Louisiana-Lafayette
WR - Josh Jelmberg, Sr., Idaho; Tyrone Calico, Sr., Middle Tennessee
QB - Paul Dombrowski, Fr., New Mexico State
RB - Dwone Hicks, Sr., Middle Tennessee; Bryant Jacobs, Sr.,
Second Team - Defense
DL - John Thompson, Jr., Louisiana-Monroe; Chris McIver, Sr., North Texas;
Adrian Awasom, So., North Texas; Walter Sampson, Sr., Louisiana-Lafayette
LB - Rich Glover, So., New Mexico State; Les Echols, Jr., Arkansas State;
Carlos Hughes, Sr., Louisiana-Monroe
DB - Jonas Buckles, So., North Texas; Chris Harris, So., Louisiana-Monroe;
Chuck Allen, Sr., Arkansas State; Jonathan Burke, Jr., Arkansas State
Second Team - Special Teams
PK - Brian Kelly, Jr., Middle Tennessee
P - Brad Kadlubar, So., North Texas
Return Specialist - Cedric Thompson, Jr., Idaho
All-purpose - Ja'Mel Branch, So., North Texas
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