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Marshall football: QB Cato, WR Shuler named to all-C-USA first team

HUNTINGTON – After both finished record-breaking seasons, it was no surprise that Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato and receiver Tommy Shuler both were named Tuesday to the all-Conference USA team.

Cato and Shuler were the Thundering Herd's sole first-team selections. Three Herd players – tight end Gator Hoskins, receiver Aaron Dobson and strong safety Dominick LeGrande – were second-team selections. Eight others earned honorable mention and four more were named to the all-freshman team. The teams were decided by C-USA's coaches.

Cato led the Football Bowl Subdivision in completions per game (33.83), passing yards per game (350.08), was third in touchdown passes (37) and fifth in both total offense (352.67 yards per game) and completions percentage (69.5). He set the Marshall single-season completions mark with 406 and his 66.2 percent career completion percentage currently is the best in Marshall history.

Shuler's 110 catches in 2012 made him just the fifth C-USA player, and first underclassman, to pass the single-season century mark. It eclipsed Mike Barber's 106 catches in 1987 as the best single-season total in Herd history. He finished with 1,138 yards and six touchdowns.

Cato and Shuler were the 15th and 16th all-C-USA first team selections for Marshall since the Herd joined the conference in 2005. Marshall has had at least two first team picks every season since 2009.

Hoskins' 10 touchdowns were the most for a tight end in the country. He caught 35 passes for 374 yards. Dobson, a preseason all-C-USA pick who missed two games with a knee injury, was seventh in the conference in catches (5.7) and receiving yards (67.9) per game. He caught a career high 57 passes for 679 yards and three touchdowns. LeGrande, a Boston College transfer, was second-best in C-USA and eighth-best in the FBS with 11.0 tackles per game. He added two interceptions, five pass breakups and a forced fumble.

Receiver Antavious Wilson, offensive linemen Jordan Jeffries, Chris Jasperse and Alex Schooler, defensive end Alex Bazzie, defensive tackle Brandon Sparrow, free safety Okechukwu Okoroha and kicker Justin Haig all earned honorable mention. Running back Kevin Grooms, who led all C-USA freshmen with 67.0 rushing yards per game, reached the all-freshman team with offensive lineman Cameron Dees, outside linebacker D.J. Hunter and punter Tyler Williams.

Williams was conspicuously left off the all-C-USA first and second teams and the honorable mention list, despite finishing second in the conference with 45.2 yards per punt. The conference's top punter, all-C-USA first teamer Richie Leone, averaged 45.5 yards per punt.

Conference USA's individual awards will be released Wednesday. Cato should be one of the leading candidates for the conference's offensive player of the year.

2012 C-USA FOOTBALL ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

QB- Rakeem Cato, So., Marshall

RB- Zach Line, Sr., SMU

RB- Latavius Murray, Sr., UCF

RB- Darrin Reaves, So., UAB

OL- Jacolby Ashworth, Sr., Houston

OL- Brian DeShane, Sr., Tulsa

OL- Jared Grigg, Sr., Tulsa

OL- Chris Hubbard, Sr., UAB

OL- Jordan Rae, Sr., UCF

TE- Vance McDonald, Sr., Rice

WR- Ryan Grant, Jr., Tulane

WR- Justin Hardy, So., East Carolina

WR- Tommy Shuler, So., Marshall

DEFENSE

DL- Jamie Collins, Sr., Southern Miss

DL- Troy Davis, Sr., UCF

DL- Cory Dorris, Sr., Tulsa

DL- Margus Hunt, Sr., SMU

LB- DeAundre Brown, Sr., Tulsa

LB- Ja'Gared Davis, Sr., SMU

LB- Phillip Steward, Sr., Houston

DB- Phillip Gaines, Jr., Rice

DB- D.J. Hayden, Sr., Houston

DB- Kemal Ishmael, Sr., UCF

DB- Dexter McCoil, Sr., Tulsa

SPECIAL TEAMS

K- Cairo Santos, Jr., Tulane

P- Richie Leone, Jr., Houston

KR- Quincy McDuffie, Sr., UCF

PR- J.J. Worton, So., UCF

LS- Billy Johnson, Gr., Tulane

SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

QB- Blake Bortles, So., UCF

RB- Vintavious Cooper, Jr., East Carolina

RB- Charles Sims, Jr., Houston

OL- Bryan Collins, Sr., SMU

OL- Jordan Devey, Sr., Memphis

OL- Trent Dupy, Sr., Tulsa

OL- Will Simmons, Jr., East Carolina

OL- Torrian Wilson, So., UCF

TE- Gator Hoskins, Jr., Marshall

WR- Aaron Dobson, Sr., Marshall

WR- Keyarris Garrett, So., Tulsa

WR- Darius Johnson, Sr., SMU

DEFENSE

DL- Michael Brooks, Sr., East Carolina

DL- Johnnie Farms, Jr., Memphis

DL- Martin Ifedi, So., Memphis

DL- Jared St. John, Sr., Tulsa

LB- Marvin Burdette, Sr., UAB

LB- Derrell Johnson, Jr., East Carolina

LB- Taylor Reed, Sr., SMU

DB- Kenneth Acker, Jr., SMU

DB- A.J. Bouye, Sr., UCF

DB- Dominick LeGrande, Gr., Marshall

DB- Marco Nelson, Jr., Tulsa

SPECIAL TEAMS

K- Chris Boswell, Jr., Rice

P- Ian Campbell, Sr., UTEP

KR- Trey Watts, Jr., Tulsa

PR- Justin Hardy, So., East Carolina

LS- Brandon Hartson, Sr., Houston

All-Freshman Team                      

Offense

QB       Austin Brown, UAB

RB        Kevin Grooms, Marshall

RB        Luke Turner, Rice

OL        Cameron Dees, Marshall

OL        Taylor Fallin, Memphis

OL        Caleb Williams, Rice

OL        Taylor Lasecki, SMU

OL        Cameron Blankenship, UAB

TE        Alan Cross, Memphis

WR       Deontay Greenberry, Houston

WR       Larry McDuffey, Houston

WR       Breshad Perriman, UCF

Defense

DL        Ricky Hunter, Memphis

DL        Christian Covington, Rice

DL        Derrick Alexander, Tulsa

DL        Deion Green, UCF

LB        Montese Overton, East Carolina

LB        D.J. Hunter, Marshall

LB        Trent Martin, Tulsa

DB       Trevon Stewart, Houston

DB       Shakiel Randolph, SMU

DB       Darion Monroe, Tulane

DB       Lorenzo Doss, Tulane

Special Teams

K          Daniel Schwarz, Tulsa

P          Tyler Williams, Marshall

KR        Autrey Golden, UTEP

PR        Dennis Parks, Rice

LS        Rey Higuera, Tulsa


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