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Football Has Six Earn C-USA Preseason Team Honors

July 20, 2016

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss senior quarterback Nick Mullens helps highlight the Conference USA Football preseason award winners by being named the Offensive Player of the Year, while five other Golden Eagles joined him on the preseason team in a vote taken by the league’s 13 head coaches.

Along with Mullens on the offensive side of the football was running back Ito Smith and offensive lineman Cameron Tom, while defensive lineman Dylan Bradley, linebacker D’Nerius Antoine and defensive back Picasso Nelson, Jr., earned accolades for the defensive side.

Mullens, from Hoover, Ala., set several school records last season for the Golden Eagles as the squad finished 9-5, won the Conference USA West Division crown and earned its first bowl berth since 2011. En route to being named the 2015 C-USA Offensive Player of the Year, Mullens established school single-season marks for passing yards (4,476), touchdown passes (38), completions (331), passing efficiency (155.16), total offense (4,384), while throwing for 300 or more yards in 10 different games. His 38 TD passes tied for fourth in the FBS, while his 4,476 passing yards ranked sixth.

Smith, a junior from Semmes, Ala., rushed for a team-best 1,128 yards last season to go along with 515 receiving yards, and ranked second in C-USA last season in all-purpose yards at 134.0 per game. Tom, a senior from Baton Rouge, La., returns at center for the Golden Eagles as a member of the Rimington and Outland Trophy watch lists, after helping the Golden Eagles to a school-record 7,133 total offensive yards a season ago.

As for defense, Bradley – a senior hailing from Macon, Miss. – had the most tackles of any Southern Miss defensive lineman from a season ago with 45 to go along with 12.5 tackles for loss and a team-best 6.5 sacks. Antoine, a senior from New Iberia, La., led the squad in tackles with 103, along with 7.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two interceptions, four forced fumbles and one recovery. Nelson, Jr., a junior from Mendenhall, Miss., registered 59 stops a year ago with five tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a blocked kick.

Florida Atlantic senior DE Trey Hendrickson was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year, while FAU senior P Dalton Schomp and Louisiana Tech junior K Jonathan Barnes share Special Teams Player of the Year honors.

Louisiana Tech had the most overall preseason selections with seven, while Florida Atlantic and Southern Miss each had players comprising six spots. Old Dominion and UTEP both placed five players on the team. All 13 C-USA schools that will compete for this year’s championship had at least one player named to the squad.

The league’s 21st football season begins on Thursday, Sept. 1. The 12th annual Conference USA Football Championship Game, pitting the champions of the East and West divisions, will be held Saturday, Dec. 3.


Offensive Player of the Year
Nick Mullens, Sr., QB, Southern Miss

Defensive Player of the Year
Trey Hendrickson, Sr., DE, Florida Atlantic

Special Teams Players of the Year
Jonathan Barnes, Jr., K, Louisiana Tech
Dalton Schomp, Sr., P, Florida Atlantic

QB - Brent Stockstill, So., Middle Tennessee
QB - Nick Mullens, Sr., Southern Miss
RB - Kalif Phillips, Sr., Charlotte
RB - Ray Lawry, Jr., Old Dominion
RB - Ito Smith, Jr., Southern Miss
RB - Aaron Jones, Sr., UTEP
RB - Jarveon Williams, Sr., UTSA
RB - Anthony Wales, Sr., WKU
OL - Michael Montero, Sr., FIU
OL - Reggie Bain, Jr., Florida Atlantic
OL - Darrell Brown, Sr., Louisiana Tech
OL - David Mahaffey, Sr., Louisiana Tech
OL - Michael Selby, Sr., Marshall
OL - Clint Van Horn, Sr., Marshall
OL - Maurquice Shakir, Sr., Middle Tennessee
OL - Cameron Tom, Sr., Southern Miss
OL - Forrest Lamp, Sr., WKU
OL - Will Hernandez, Jr., UTEP
TE - Jonnu Smith, Sr., FIU
TE - Ryan Yurachek, Jr., Marshall
WR - Trent Taylor, Sr., Louisiana Tech
WR - Richie James, So., Middle Tennessee
WR - Zach Pascal, Sr., Old Dominion
WR - Taywan Taylor, Sr., WKU

DL - Larry Ogunjobi, Sr., Charlotte
DL - Trey Hendrickson, Sr., Florida Atlantic
DL - Jaylon Ferguson, So., Louisiana Tech
DL - Gary Thompson, Sr., Marshall
DL - Rashaad Coward, Sr., Old Dominion
DL - Dylan Bradley, Sr., Southern Miss
DL - Nick Usher, Sr., UTEP
DL - Marcus Davenport, Jr., UTSA
LB - Anthony Wint, Jr., FIU
LB - Azeez Al-Shaair, So., Florida Atlantic
LB - TJ Ricks, Sr., Old Dominion
LB - Alex Lyons, Sr., Rice
LB - D’Nerius Antoine, Sr., Southern Miss
LB - Alvin Jones, Jr., UTEP
DB - Ocie Rose, So., Florida Atlantic
DB - Jalen Young, So., Florida Atlantic
DB - Xavier Woods, Sr., Louisiana Tech
DB - Jeremy Cutrer, Sr., Middle Tennessee
DB - Kishawn McClain, Jr., North Texas
DB - Justice Davila, Jr., Old Dominion
DB - Picasso Nelson Jr., Jr., Southern Miss
DB - Michael Egwuagu, Sr., UTSA

Special Teams
K - Jonathan Barnes, Jr., Louisiana Tech
P - Dalton Schomp, Sr., Florida Atlantic
KR - Kylen Towner, Jr., WKU
PR - Warren Redix, So., UTEP
LS - Darrell Travis, Sr., Louisiana Tech

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