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Seven Blue Raiders honored by SBC Coaches, Media

Four Blue Raiders earn first team recognition

December 5, 2007 · MT Media Relations

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Sun Belt Conference announced its all-league team today and Middle Tennessee had seven players honored. The Blue Raiders had four first team selections, one second team pick, and two on the honorable mention list.

In just two years, the Blue Raiders have had 11 first team honors under Rick Stockstill.

The league's coaches and selected media members honored junior Franklin Dunbar, senior Tavares Jones, senior Erik Walden, sophomore Desmond Gee, and senior Bradley Robinson as all-league picks in 2007. DeMarco McNair and Alex Suber made the honorable mention list.

The Blue Raiders' first-team selections were Dunbar, Gee, Jones, and Walden while Robinson made the second team.

Dunbar, a second team selection in 2006, started all 12 games for the Blue Raiders at left tackle and led all linemen with 840 snaps. The Waycross, Ga., native played 80 or more snaps in three straight games during the season and will enter play in 2008 having started in 30 straight games.

Jones, who joins Walden and Gee as Middle Tennessee's first back-to-back first team picks since Kerry Wright in 2003-2004, led the Blue Raiders in tackles with a career-best 61. The disruptive defensive end also paced the team in sacks with a personal-high seven to go along with 9.5 tackles for loss, an interception, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble, and two pass breakups. The Swainsboro, Ga., product ended his career with 12.5 sacks to rank third all-time.

Despite missing two games with an injury, Walden impressed the voters with his relentless pressure even though he faced numerous double teams. Walden, who ended his career as the conference's second all-time leading sack man with 22.5, had 46 total tackles in 2007 to finish just two shy of his career mark. The Dublin, Ga., native had 8.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception, and a safety in 2007.

The final first team selection was Gee, who earned the honor as an all-purpose performer for the second straight year. The true definition of all-purpose, Gee gained yards as a wide receiver, running back, kick returner, and punt returner in 2007 on his way to leading the team with 1,323 all-purpose yards. The Greenville, Fla., native was second on the team with a career-best 29 receptions.

"All of our first team honors are very deserving," said Head Coach Rick Stockstill. "They all overcame and played through injuries and to still be recognized as all-conference is a great accomplishment."

After a stellar career, Robinson was finally recognized by the league's coaches and media as he was voted to the second team. Despite ending his career with a share of the league's all-time interception record with 14, Robinson earned all-league honors for the first time. An honorable mention pick in 2005, Robinson led the Blue Raiders with five interceptions and five pass breakups in 2007. The Duncan, S.C., native, however, will always be remembered for his dramatic play against ULM. With time running down, Robinson returned the first kickoff of his career 89 yards for a touchdown to provide the winning margin against the Warhawks with :45 seconds to play.

"I am really proud to see that Bradley made all-conference," added Stockstill. "He has enjoyed an outstanding career and he is coming off a solid season. He is very deserving."

Player of Year
Rusty Smith (Florida Atlantic, So., QB)

Offensive Player of Year
Omar Haugabook (Troy, Sr., QB)

Defensive Player of the Year
Tyrell Johnson (Arkansas State, Sr., DB)

Newcomer of the Year
Chris Bradwell (Troy, Sr., DL)

Freshman of the Year
Giovanni Vizza (North Texas, Fr., QB)

Coach of the Year
Howard Schnellenberger, FAU

First Team All-Sun Belt Conference Offense
Rusty Smith (Florida Atlantic, R-So, QB)
Tyrell Fenroy (Louisiana-Lafayette, Jr., RB)
Calvin Dawson (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., RB)
Cortez Gent (Florida Atlantic, R-So, WR)
Casey Fitzgerald (North Texas, Jr., WR)
Jason Harmon (Florida Atlantic, Jr, TE)
Matt Mandich (Arkansas State, Jr., OL)
Jesse Newman (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., OL)
Franklin Dunbar (Middle Tennessee, Jr., OL)
Kyle Cunningham (ULM, Sr., OL)
Dion Small (Troy, Jr., OL)

First Team All-Sun Belt Conference Defense
Rodney Hardeway (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., DL)
Tavares Jones (Middle Tennessee, Sr., DL)
Erik Walden (Middle Tennessee, Sr., DL)

Jeremiah Chapman (North Texas, Sr., DL)
Frantz Joseph (Florida Atlantic, Jr., LB)
Cergile Sincere (Florida Atlantic, Sr., LB)
Boris Lee (Troy, So., LB)
Khayyam Burns (Arkansas State, Sr., DB)
Tyrell Johnson (Arkansas State, Sr., DB)
Tavious Polo (Florida Atlantic, Fr, DB)
Elbert Mack (Troy, Sr., DB)

First Team All-Sun Belt Conference Special Teams
Greg Whibbs (Troy, Sr., PK)
Scott Love (ULM, So., P)
Leodis McKelvin (Troy, Sr., KR)
Desmond Gee (Middle Tennessee, So., All Purpose)

Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference Offense
Omar Haugabook (Troy, Sr., QB)
Reggie Arnold (Arkansas State, So., RB)
Kenny Cattouse (Troy, Sr., RB)
Levi Dejohnette (Arkansas State, Sr., WR)
Gary Banks (Troy, Sr., WR)
Zeek Zacharie (ULM, Jr., TE)
John Rizzo (Florida Atlantic, Jr, OL)
Jarrid Smith (Florida Atlantic, Sr., OL)
Adam Hill (ULM, Sr., OL)
Chris Fisher (Louisiana-Lafayette, So., OL)
Kelvin Drake (North Texas, So., OL)

Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference Defense
Jervonte Jackson (Florida Atlantic, Jr., DL)
David Cooper (ULM, Sr., DL)
Kenny Mainor (Troy, Jr., DL)
Shawn Todd (Troy, Sr., DL)
Koby McKinnon (Arkansas State, Sr. LB)
Antwyne Zanders (Louisiana-Lafayette, Jr., LB)
Cardia Jackson (ULM, So., LB)
Corey Small (Florida Atlantic, Jr., DB)
Greg James (ULM, So., DB)
Bradley Robinson (Middle Tennessee, Sr., DB)
Leodis McKelvin (Troy, Sr., DB)

Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference Special Teams
Drew Edmiston (Louisiana-Lafayette, Jr., PK)
Brett Shrable (Arkansas State, Jr., P)
Lionell Singleton (Florida International, Sr., KR)
Michael Desormeaux (Louisiana-Lafayette, Jr., All Purpose)

Honorable Mention All-Sun Belt Conference: Corey Leonard (Arkansas State, So., QB), Alex Carrington (Arkansas State, So., DE), Kris Bartels (Florida Atlantic, Sr., DB), Charles Pierre (Florida Atlantic, Jr., RB), Scott Bryant (Florida International, So., LB), Ashlyn Parker (Florida International, So., DB), Korey Raymond (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., DL), Grant Fleming (Louisiana-Lafayette, Fr., LB), Frank Goodin (ULM, Fr. RB), Aaron Morgan (ULM, So., DL), DeMarco McNair (Middle Tennessee, Sr., RB), Alex Suber (Middle Tennessee, Jr., DB), Brandon Jackson (North Texas, Sr., WR), Craig Robertson (North Texas, Fr., LB), Chris Jamison (Troy, Jr., OL), Sherrod Martin (Troy, Jr., DB)

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