After winning their first outright Southland Conference championship since joining the league in 1987, the Texas State football team placed nine players on the All-Southland Conference teams in a poll of the league’s coaches and sports information directors it was announced Tuesday.The Bobcats had four players named All-SLC First-Team Selections and five other players earned All-SLC Second-Team honors. The First-Team selections were senior wide receiver Cameron Luke, sophomore running back Karrington Bush, senior fullback Blake Burton and senior center Jeff Bowen.
The Second-Team selections were redshirt freshman offensive lineman D.J. Hall, senior placekicker Andrew Ireland, senior defensive end Donavan King and senior defensive back Morris Crosby were All-SLC Second-Team selections. Bush also was an All-SLC Second-Team selection as a punt returner.
In addition, six other players were named Honorable Mention All-SLC selections. They were junior quarterback Bradley George, senior tight end John Gilley, junior defensive end Travis Houston, senior linebacker Courtney Smith, junior linebacker Joe Bell and sophomore defensive back Kenneth Hampton.
Luke is a First-Team selection for the second straight year after his record-setting season in 2008 when he set school records for the most receptions (68), receiving yards (1,193) and receiving touchdowns (16) heading into Saturday’s NCAA Division I FCS playoff game at Montana. He also set school and Southland Conference records for most touchdown receptions in a career with 31 and is the first player in league history to record back-to-back seasons with 10 touchdown receptions. He is the only Texas State receiver in school history and the first SLC receiver since 1970 to record 1,000 receiving yards in back-to-back seasons.
Bush averaged 185.50 all-purpose yards per game this season, which ranks third nationally. H also became the first Texas State running back since 1997 and second Bobcat all-time to record back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. He finished the regular season with 1,039 yards and 11 touchdowns on 129 carries, and caught 21 passes for 207 yards. In addition, he returned 37 kickoffs for 980 yards.
This marks the second time in the last three years that Burton has been named an All-Southland Conference First-Team selection. Burton earned the honor this season after rushing for a career-best four touchdowns and gaining 64 yards on 24 carries. Burton scored a game-winning touchdown against Angelo State to open the season and ran for a one-yard TD at McNeese State. Burton also ran for two-yard touchdowns against Northwestern State and Texas Southern.
Bowen has started 20 straight games at center for Texas State and anchored an offensive line that help produce 2,294 yards rushing and surrendered just 13 sacks throughout the first 12 games of the 2008 season.
He was joined on the offensive line by Hall, who started all 12 games this year at right guard as a redshirt freshman.
Ireland is one of the most reliable kickers in the Southland Conference after making 12 of his 15 field goal attempts, where he was a perfect 10-of-10 inside 40 yards, and 56 of his 58 extra-point tries. The only two extra-point misses came at SMU where they were both blocked. He also averaged 62.4 yards on 78 kickoffs.
King helped anchor Texas State’s defensive line that recorded 21 sacks as a team. He ranked fifth among Bobcat leaders with 48 tackles, including eight for lost yardage and three quarterback sacks.
Crosby registered 42 tackles this season and was a co-leader on the team with Kenneth Hampton with three interceptions in his first season at cornerback despite missing four games with a leg injury.
by Rick Poulter
University News Service