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November 28, 2007
The quarterback and running back positions on this year's All-Big East teams are loaded with some of the nation's best players.
West Virginia junior quarterback Pat White is Rivals.com's Big East offensive player of the year. White has passed for 1,498 yards and 12 touchdowns and run for 1,144 yards and 14 touchdowns while putting his team in position to play for the national title. By the end of the year, he should have his second season with 1,000 rushing yards and 1,500 passing yards.
If you want to know how deep the Big East is on offense, consider this: West Virginia tailback Steve Slaton, a Heisman finalist last season, is a second-team selection. So is Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm, who will likely be a top pick in the NFL draft.
USF defensive end George Selvie is the league's defensive player of the year. The previously unheralded Selvie has 31.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks.
Connecticut's Randy Edsall is the coach of the year. Jim Leavitt's USF team also finished 9-3, but the Bulls were expected to be good. UConn was projected to finish seventh in the Big East but came within a game of winning the league title.
Rivals.com 2007 All-Big East First Team
QB Pat White, West Virginia, Jr., 6-2/185
HIGH SCHOOL: Daphne (Ala.) High
BUZZ: White's stellar career could continue with a national championship. He averaged 304 yards of total offense in a critical four-game stretch against Rutgers, Louisville, Cincinnati and Connecticut.
RB Ray Rice, Rutgers, Jr., 5-9/205
HIGH SCHOOL: New Rochelle (N.Y.) High
BUZZ: With 1,612 rushing yards this season, Rice moved into second place in career rushing in the Big East. If he returns next season, he should break the record of 5,039 yards held by West Virginia's Avon Cobourne.
RB LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh, Fr., 5-11, 210
HIGH SCHOOL: New Berlin (N.Y.) Milford Academy
BUZZ: The Big East will have no shortage of star runners when Rice and Steve Slaton leave the league. McCoy ran for 1,180 yards and 14 touchdowns. That's one more score than Tony Dorsett had in his freshman season with the Panthers.
WR Harry Douglas, Louisville, Sr., 5-11/170
HIGH SCHOOL: Jonesboro (Ga.) High
BUZZ: Despite missing two games, Douglas still leads the Big East in receiving. Heading into the final game, Douglas has caught 70 passes for 1,113 yards and seven touchdowns.
WR Marcus Barnett, Cincinnati (RS), 6-1/175
HIGH SCHOOL: Upper Marlboro (Md.) Douglass
BUZZ: Barnett emerged as a playmaker in a new offense - and with a new quarterback. He has 60 receptions for 845 yards and a school-record 13 touchdown catches.
TE Gary Barnidge, Louisville, Sr., 6-6/234
HIGH SCHOOL: Middleburg (Fla.) High
BUZZ: Louisville's struggles this season didn't carry over to Barnidge. He had a career year with 48 catches for 590 yards and seven touchdowns.
OT Ryan Stanchek, West Virginia, Jr., 6-4/300
HIGH SCHOOL: Cincinnati LaSalle
BUZZ: Pat White and Steve Slaton get all the pub, but the Mountaineers have gone 28-4 in his 32 consecutive starts. WVU is second in the nation in rushing at 310.1 yards per game.
OT Pedro Sosa, Rutgers, Sr., 6-5/290
HIGH SCHOOL: Union City (N.J.) Union Hill
BUZZ: Rutgers allowed the fewest sacks in the country last season and the second-fewest this year (eight). The Scarlet Knights can run the ball a little, too. They averaged 193.6 yards per game on the ground.
OG Mike Fladell, Rutgers, Sr., 6-8/320
HIGH SCHOOL: Howard Beach (N.Y.) John Adams
BUZZ: A starter for more than two years, Fladell had been a key blocker for one of the nation's most prolific rushing teams over that span.
OG Greg Isdaner, West Virginia, Soph., 6-4/315
HIGH SCHOOL: Gladwyne (Pa.) Episcopal
BUZZ: A Rivals.com Freshman All-American last year, Isdaner continued his high level of play as a sophomore. He started every game at left guard for the nation's No. 2 rushing offense.
C Eric Wood, Louisville, Jr., 6-4/297
HIGH SCHOOL: Cincinnati Elder
BUZZ: Louisville struggled to run the ball all season, but injuries in the backfield weren't the fault of this veteran center.
DE George Selvie, USF, Soph., 6-4, 242
HIGH SCHOOL: Pensacola (Fla.) Pine Forest
BUZZ: A breakout season for Selvie helped take USF to new heights. He leads the nation in tackles for loss (31.5) and is second in sacks (14.5).
DE Anthony Hoke, Cincinnati, Sr., 6-1/255
HIGH SCHOOL: Warren (Ohio) Harding
BUZZ: He's not the biggest defensive end, but he's second in the Big East with 12 sacks for a defense that generally has been steady all season. He also has 15.5 tackles for loss.
DT Terrill Byrd, Cincinnati, Jr., 6-1/290
HIGH SCHOOL: Cincinnati Colerain
BUZZ: Byrd is stout in the middle and helps lead a top-20 run defense. He also has six sacks and 14 tackles for loss.
DT Keilen Dykes, West Virginia, Sr., 6-5/295
HIGH SCHOOL: Youngstown (Ohio) Chaney
BUZZ: The Mountaineers' improved defense starts up front with its nose tackle. Dykes has started 42 consecutive games. This season, he has three sacks and an interception return for a touchdown.
LB Scott McKillop, Pittsburgh, Jr., 6-2/240
HIGH SCHOOL: Kiski (Pa.) Area
BUZZ: The middle linebacker leads the nation in tackles with 12.9 per game. He also has seven pass breakups and has forced three turnovers.
LB Ben Moffitt, USF, Sr., 6-2/245
HIGH SCHOOL: Bushnell (Fla.) South Sumter
BUZZ: One of the most decorated players in USF history, Moffitt has 94 tackles and four interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown) for one of the nation's most aggressive defenses.
LB Danny Lansanah, Connecticut, Sr., 6-1/244
HIGH SCHOOL: Harrisburg (Pa.) High
BUZZ: This tackling machine will end his Huskies career in a bowl game. He is third in the Big East with 116 tackles.
CB Mike Jenkins, USF, Sr., 5-11/194
HIGH SCHOOL: Bradenton (Fla.) Southeast
BUZZ: Passing against the Bulls' cornerback tandem was no easy task. Jenkins has three interceptions and a league-leading 11 pass breakups.
CB Mike Mickens, Cincinnati, Jr., 6-0/190
HIGH SCHOOL: Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne
BUZZ: Cincinnati led the nation in forced turnovers. Mickens is among the team's best in that department with six interceptions. He returned two of those picks for touchdowns.
SS Robert Vaughn, Connecticut, Soph., 6-0/189
HIGH SCHOOL: North Attleboro (Mass.) High
BUZZ: His six interceptions were tied for the lead in the Big East as the Huskies ranked ninth nationally in passing efficiency defense. UConn was one of the nation's biggest surprises, and a tough defense was the main reason.
FS Haruki Nakamura, Cincinnati, Sr., 5-10/190
HIGH SCHOOL: Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward
BUZZ: A leader on the Bearcats' defense for three seasons, Nakamura turned in his best campaign as a senior. He has four interceptions and a team-leading 86 tackles. He also has three forced fumbles and three pass breakups.
K Jeremy Ito, Rutgers, Sr., 5-11/190
HIGH SCHOOL: Loma Linda (Calif.) Redlands
BUZZ: "The Judge" didn't have a kick as big this season as his game-winner against Louisville last season, but he's capping an excellent career as the Big East's leading career scorer. He is 21 of 28 on field goals, with a long of 51.
P Kevin Huber, Cincinnati, Jr., 6-1/220
HIGH SCHOOL: Cincinnati McNicholas
BUZZ: Huber is the nation's leading punter. He is averaging 45.9 yards per kick. The Bearcats also rank fifth nationally in net punting.
KR Tyvon Branch, Connecticut, Sr., 6-0/193
HIGH SCHOOL: Cicero (N.Y.) North Syracuse
BUZZ: Branch emerged to lead the Big East in kickoff returns at 28 yards per return. He took two back for touchdowns, one each against Akron and Rutgers.
PR Vaughn Rivers, West Virginia, Sr., 5-9/170
HIGH SCHOOL: Pittsburgh Perry
BUZZ: Rivers leads the league in punt returns at 10.9 yards per pop. He had especially good days against nonconference foes East Carolina and Mississippi State.
ALL-PURPOSE Darius Reynaud, West Virginia, Sr., 5-10/200
HIGH SCHOOL: Boutte (La.) Hahnville
BUZZ: An unsung cog in the Mountaineers' offense, Reynaud has 56 receptions for 645 yards and 11 touchdowns going into the final game of the regular season. He also has been used as a kick returner has run a few reverses.
Rivals.com 2007 All-Big East Second Team
QB Brian Brohm, Louisville, Sr., 6-4/228
HIGH SCHOOL: Louisville (Ky.) Trinity
BUZZ: Brohm didn't come back for this kind of senior season. While the team has been a disappointment, Brohm has produced. He still will be a high draft pick after passing for 3,787 yards and 29 touchdowns.
RB Steve Slaton, West Virginia, Jr., 5-10/190
HIGH SCHOOL: Fairless Hills (Pa.) Conwell-Egan Catholic
BUZZ: This is a down season of sorts for Slaton, but he still has 1,042 rushing yards. He also has 17 rushing touchdowns, tying his single-season career high. He also has two games remaining.
RB Andre Dixon, Connecticut, Soph., 6-1/187
HIGH SCHOOL: New Brunswick (N.J.) High
BUZZ: For a time, he took Donald Brown's spot as the primary ballcarrier before the two split carries down the stretch. He finished with 1,089 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns in 10 games.
WR Kenny Britt, Rutgers, Soph., 6-4/205
HIGH SCHOOL: Bayonne (N.J.)
BUZZ: Teammate Tiquan Underwood had better statistics, but Britt gets the edge because of consistency and big-play potential. He has averaged 21.2 yards per catch with 934 yards and five touchdowns going into the regular-season finale against Louisville.
WR Mike Williams, Syracuse, Jr., 6-0/220
HIGH SCHOOL: Buffalo Riverside
BUZZ: Williams finished the season by catching a touchdown pass in each of Syracuse's last nine games. He finished with 60 catches for 837 yards and 10 TDs for an offense that really didn't have much else.
TE Steve Brouse, Connecticut, Jr., 6-4/257
HIGH SCHOOL: Selinsgrove (Pa.) High
BUZZ: Brouse was a consistent target in the end zone for new QB Tyler Lorenzen. Brouse has 24 catches for 261 yards and four touchdowns.
OT Jeremy Zuttah, Rutgers, Sr., 6-4/295
HIGH SCHOOL: Edison (N.J.) Stevens
BUZZ: Zuttah is another solid player on a good offensive line. The Scarlet Knights rarely struggle to move the ball on the ground.
OT Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh, Sr., 6-6/340
HIGH SCHOOL: New Castle (Del.) William Penn
BUZZ: Pittsburgh's depleted offense wasn't always pretty, but Otah ? who has great size ? was consistent and has a bright pro career ahead of him.
OG Donald Thomas, Connecticut, Sr., 6-4/290
HIGH SCHOOL: West Haven (Conn.) Career
BUZZ: Thomas started every game at guard, and helped pave the way for Huskies TBs Donald Brown and Andre Dixon. The running backs combined for 1,558 rushing yards.
OG Ryan Schmidt, USF, Jr., 6-4/327
HIGH SCHOOL: Boca Raton (Fla.) High
BUZZ: Schmidt started every game at left guard for the Bulls, whose running game evolved as the season progressed. QB Matt Grothe was a key component in the ground game.
C Jake Griffin, USF, Jr., 6-4/307
HIGH SCHOOL: Seffner (Fla.) Armwood
BUZZ: Griffin held his own when he moved over from guard after a knee injury to starter Nick Capogna.
DE Joe Clermond, Pittsburgh, Sr., 6-3/250
HIGH SCHOOL: Tampa Chamberlain
BUZZ: Lost in Pittsburgh's struggles was the solid play of the defense. Clermond was one of the bright spots with 9.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss.
DE Johnny Dingle, West Virginia, Sr., 6-3/270
HIGH SCHOOL: Miami Washington
BUZZ: This former Florida signee might be part of a national championship game anyway. He was proficient at getting behind the line of scrimmage this season. He has eight sacks and 17 tackles for loss. He also has forced three fumbles.
DT Eric Foster, Rutgers, Sr., 6-2/265
HIGH SCHOOL: Homestead (Fla.) High
BUZZ: He might be on the small side, but he's still productive. Foster has 10 tackles for losses and 15 quarterback hurries with two games to play.
DT Dan Davis, Connecticut, Sr., 6-1/284
HIGH SCHOOL: Plainfield (N.J.) High
BUZZ: Davis took up a lot of space in the middle and helped keep blockers off two 100-tackle linebackers. He did some damage of his own, too, with 34 tackles.
LB Lamar Myles, Louisville, 6-0/220
HIGH SCHOOL: Eagle Lake (Fla.) Lake Region
BUZZ: A dismal season by Louisville's defense didn't faze the speedy Myles. He has 120 tackles and three forced fumbles.
LB Marc Magro, West Virginia, Sr., 6-3/240
HIGH SCHOOL: Morgantown (W.Va.) University
BUZZ: A fifth-year senior but a first-year starter, Magro leads West Virginia with eight sacks. He has 62 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.
LB Scott Lutrus, Connecticut, Fr. (RS), 6-3/220
HIGH SCHOOL: Brookfield (Conn.) High
BUZZ: One of two freshman linebackers who helped the Huskies become a surprise contender in the Big East, Lutrus finished the regular season with 98 tackles and four interceptions.
CB Trae Williams, USF, Sr., 5-10/193
HIGH SCHOOL: Plant City (Fla.) Durant
BUZZ: USF had one of the best cornerback tandems in the country, thanks to Williams and Mike Jenkins. Williams had six interceptions, returning three for touchdowns, and had 10 pass breakups.
CB DeAngelo Smith, Cincinnati, Jr., 6-0/190
HIGH SCHOOL: Columbus (Ohio) Independence
BUZZ: Along with Mike Mickens, Smith makes up half of a formidable cornerback duo. He finished the regular season with five interceptions, seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
SS Eric Wicks, West Virginia, Sr., 6-1/205
HIGH SCHOOL: Pittsburgh Perry
BUZZ: The Mountaineers' top playmaker in the secondary, Wicks intercepted three passes and returned a fumble for a touchdown. He has 40 tackles, including seven for a loss.
FS Nate Allen, South Florida, Soph., 6-2/200
HIGH SCHOOL: Cape Coral (Fla.) High
BUZZ: How good is USF's secondary? Allen is one of three players with at least four interceptions and a defensive touchdown. He added 78 tackles.
K Pat McAfee, West Virginia, Jr., 6-1/200
HIGH SCHOOL: Plum (Pa.) High
BUZZ: He has doubled as a punter since the end of last season. McAfee is 11 of 13 on field goals, including 9-for-9 between 30 and 49 yards.
P Rob Long, Syracuse, Fr., 6-4/175
HIGH SCHOOL: Downington (Pa.) West
BUZZ: Long got plenty of work because of Syracuse's struggling offense, and he still averaged 41.9 yards per kick.
KR Max Suter, Syracuse, Fr., 5-11/190
HIGH SCHOOL: Greensburg (Pa.) Central Catholic
BUZZ: Suter averaged 25.5 yards per return and set Big East records for total yards on kickoff returns (1,127) and number of kickoff returns (44).
PR Aaron Berry, Pittsburgh, Soph., 5-11/175
HIGH SCHOOL: Harrisburg (Pa.) Bishop McDevitt
BUZZ: Berry took over for NFL first-round pick Darelle Revis as a cornerback and punt returner and held his own with 8.6 yards per return and two interceptions.
ALL-PURPOSE Owen Schmitt, West Virginia, 6-3/260
HIGH SCHOOL: Fairfax (Va.) High
BUZZ: The fullback/tight end smashed his helmet against his head after shanking a punt. Imagine being a linebacker in the path of Pat White or Steve Slaton and being cleared away by Schmitt.