North Texas senior linebacker Derek Akunne (7) reacts after stopping Southern Mississippi quarterback Nick Mullens on Oct. 18 at Apogee Stadium. Akunne and offensive lineman Cyril Lemon were named to the C-USA Media Association's All-Conference team this week. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)
Embattled UAB coach Bill Clark was named Conference USA’s football Coach of the Year as a land-slide selection by the C-USA Media Association.
Clark, who led the Blazers to an astonishing 6-6 record and bowl eligibility in 2014, led the turn-around during his first year as head coach.
But the feel-good story of the 2014 season ended abruptly and sadly when UAB officials informed Clark he wouldn’t be permitted to build on that success. Instead, UAB was shutting down its football program due to fiscal concerns.
That made Clark a one-and-done coach. But that one was so good and so unexpected, C-USA Media Association members chose to honor him.
In other individual awards, Marshall running back Devon Johnson was voted Most Valuable Player, Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty was Offensive Player of the Year and Marshall linebacker Neville Hewitt was Defensive Player of the Year.
UNT offensive lineman Cyril Lemon and linebacker Derek Akunne were the Mean Green’s two players named to the team.
Lemon was an anchor for UNT’s offensive line and started 49 consecutive games, while Akunne finished his career with 308 tackles.
The team was selected by members of the media who regularly cover C-USA teams.
– Chuck Landon, C-USA Media Association
All-Conference USA media team
WR – Tommy Shuler, Marshall, senior
WR – Antonio Vaughan, Old Dominion, senior
WR – Jared Dangerfield, Western Kentucky, junior
OL – Chris Jasperse, Marshall, senior
OL – Brian O’Leary, UAB, senior
OL – Mitchell Bell, Louisiana Tech, senior
OL – Clint Van Horn, Marshall, junior
OL – Cyril Lemon, North Texas, senior
TE – Jonnu Smith, FIU, sophomore
QB – Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky, senior
RB – Devon Johnson, Marshall, junior
RB – Jordan Howard, UAB, sophomore
DL – Diaheem Watkins, UAB, senior
DL – James Rouse, Marshall, senior
DL – Brian Nordstrom, Rice, junior
DL – Arnold Blackmon, Marshall, senior
LB – Neville Hewitt, Marshall, senior
LB – Derek Akunne, North Texas, senior
LB – Andrae Kirk, Florida Atlantic, senior
DB – Richard Leonard, FIU, junior
DB – Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech, sophomore
DB – Darryl Roberts, Marshall, senior
DB – Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee, junior
Punter – Tyler Williams, Marshall, junior
Kicker – Corey Acosta, Southern Miss, senior
Returner – J.J. Nelson, UAB, senior
WR – Jordan Taylor, Rice, senior
WR – Lucky Whitehead, Florida Atlantic, senior
WR – Trent Taylor, Louisiana Tech, sophomore
OL – Jerel Watkins, UTEP, senior
OL – Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky, sophomore
OL – Matt Simonette, Rice, senior
OL – Josh Mann, Old Dominion, senior
OL – Roscoe Byrd, UAB, junior
TE – Kennard Backman, UAB, senior
QB – Rakeem Cato, Marshall, senior
RB – Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech, junior
RB – Aaron Jones, UTEP, sophomore
DL – Michael Wakefield, FIU, junior
DL – Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Southern Miss, senior
DL – Houston Bates, Louisiana Tech, senior
DL – Robert Singletary, UTSA, senior
LB – Jake Ganus, UAB, junior
LB – Jermaine Holmes, Marshall, senior
LB – Nick Holt, Western Kentucky, junior
DB – Tristan Wade, UTSA, senior
DB – Taj Letman, Marshall, junior
DB – Adairius Barnes, Louisiana Tech, junior
DB – D’Joun Smith, Florida Atlantic, senior