Three Blue Raiders earn all-SBC honorsNovember 30, 2004 · MT Media Relations
"I am extremely proud of all three guys," said Head Coach Andy McCollum. "They had great years for us, but the first thing each of them will tell you is that the team deserves the credit. Kerry (Wright) had another phenomenal season and was a real leader on our team, and Quinton (Staton) made a big sacrifice by moving from the defensive line in fall camp. And I can't say enough about the job Colby (Smith) did in his first year as our kicker. He was the best in the league, and one of the best in the country."
Wright, the Blue Raiders' lone first-team selection, became the first player in school history to record back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons as he hauled in a school record 76 passes for 1,048 yards. Through games of last week, Wright ranked 12th nationally in receptions per game and 11th in receiving yardage. A two-time first team all-SBC pick, Wright broke his own single-season touchdown mark in 2004 with 11 scoring grabs which enabled him to set the career mark with 22.
Staton, who started at left guard all 11 games, made the all-SBC second team after transferring from East Tennessee where he earned all-Southern Conference honors in 2003 as an offensive lineman. The Chattanooga, Tenn., native led the Blue Raiders with 128.5 knockdowns, while playing a total of 778 snaps. Staton also had a cumulative grade of 82 percent, which ranked tops on the team.
The most shocking omission from the first team may have been Smith, who led the league in field goals made and percentage while also pacing all kickers in scoring with 77 points. The Franklin, Tenn., native, was also second overall in the league in scoring and was successful on all 32 of his extra points. To top that off, Smith was one of just 20 kickers in the nation to be named to the Lou Groza Award semifinalist list. This marks the third straight year Middle Tennessee has had the league's second team placekicker.
2004 Sun Belt Conference Football All-Conference Teams
First Team - Offense
Offensive Line: ^Andy Brewster, Sr., North Texas; Steven Gibbs, Sr., Arkansas State; ^Bruce Hampton, Sr., Louisiana-Monroe; Junior Louissaint, Sr., Troy; ^Steve Subia, Sr., New Mexico State Tight End: Andy Blount, Sr., North Texas Wide Receivers: Bobby Bernal-Wood, Sr., Idaho; ^Kerry Wright, Sr., Middle Tennessee Quarterback: Buck Pierce, Sr., New Mexico State Running Backs: DeWhitt Betterson, Sr., Troy; Jamario Thomas, Fr., North Texas
First Team - Defense
Defensive Line: #Adrian Awasom, Sr., North Texas; Aubrey Dorisme, Sr., New Mexico State; Brandon Guillory, Sr., Louisiana-Monroe; Demarcus Ware, Sr., Troy Linebackers: Jimmy Cottrell, Jr., New Mexico State; Cole Snyder, Jr., Idaho; Josh Williams, Fr., Arkansas State Defensive Backs: Derrick Ansley, Sr., Troy; ^C.C. Brown, Sr., Louisiana-Lafayette; !Jonas Buckles, Sr., North Texas; #Chris Harris, Sr., Louisiana-Monroe
First Team - Special Teams
Kicker: Nick Bazaldua, Jr., North Texas Punter: ^Joel Stelly, Jr., Louisiana-Monroe Return Specialist: Kevin Robinson, Fr., Utah State All-Purpose: Johnny Quinn, So., North Texas
Second Team - Offense
Offensive Line: Lonnie Chambers, Sr., North Texas; Nick Cole, Jr., New Mexico State; Dylan Lineberry, So., North Texas; Quinton Staton, Jr., Middle Tennessee; Henry Tellis, Sr., Troy Tight End: Andrew Mooney, Fr., New Mexico State Wide Receivers: Johnny Quinn, So., North Texas; Bill Sampy, Sr., Louisiana-Lafayette Quarterback: ^Scott Hall, Sr., North Texas; Running Backs: Jayson Bird, Fr., Idaho; Antonio Warren, Sr., Arkansas State
Second Team - Defense
Defensive Line: Evan Cardwell, Sr., North Texas; Michael Pruitt, Sr., North Texas; Eric Thomas, Sr., Troy; Ronald Tupea, Sr., Utah State Linebackers: Bernard Davis, Jr., Troy; Robby Farmer, Sr., Troy; John Winchester, Sr., Louisiana-Monroe Defensive Backs: Johnny Faulk, Jr., Troy; Matt Griebel, Jr., New Mexico State; Tyrell Johnson, Fr., Arkansas State; Markeith Knowlton, Sr., North Texas
Second Team - Special Teams
Kicker: Colby Smith, So., Middle Tennessee; Punter: Thomas Olmsted, Jr., Troy Return Specialist: Leodis McKelvin, Fr., Troy All-Purpose: Kevin Robinson, Fr., Utah State
Player of the Year: Jamario Thomas, RB, Fr., North Texas
Offensive Player of the Year: Jamario Thomas, RB, Fr., North Texas
Defensive Player of the Year: Demarcus Ware, DE, Sr., Troy
Newcomer of the Year: Dylan Lineberry, So., OG, North Texas
Freshman of the Year: Jamario Thomas, RB, Fr., North Texas
Coach of the Year: Darrell Dickey, North Texas (fourth consecutive year)
! = four-time All-Sun Belt honoree # = three-time All-Sun Belt honoree ^ = two-time All-Sun Belt honoree
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