Athlon Sports has released its preseason all-conference teams and 11 Tulsa Golden Hurricane players have been selected to the magazine's American Athletic Conference team.
First-team selections include a trio of offensive linemen – center Chandler Miller, left guard Tyler Bowling and left tackle Evan Plagg, as well as the league's top returning running back D'Angelo Brewer. Last year, the Tulsa front line paved the way for an offense that had a school-record eight 300-yard rushing games and a unit that ranked among the top-10 nationally in rushing and total offense.
Brewer was one of two Tulsa running backs to gain over 1,000 yards last year. The Tulsa senior rushed for 1,435 yards, a 5.4 average and seven TDs in 12 games.
Senior defensive end Jesse Brubaker earned second-team honors after turning in a season that saw him record a team-high 13.5 TFLs and total 57 tackles. He also had two interceptions for 90 return yards and two touchdowns. Brubaker moved from tackle to end prior to the 2016 season.
The Hurricane had four players named to Athlon's third-team, including one on offense, two defensive players and one on special teams. Junior receiver Justin Hobbs hauled in 50 receptions for 685 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore in 2016. The defensive players named to the third-team are a pair of seniors, linebacker Craig Suits and cornerback Kerwin Thomas. Suits totaled 79 stops and nine TFLs, while Thomas had 58 tackles and a team-high nine pass break-ups.
Tulsa place-kicker Redford Jones, who led all American Athletic Conference kickers in scoring, field goals, PAT percentage and was tied for first in field goal percentage, was selected to the magazine's third team. He converted 21-of-26 field goals with a career-long 46-yarder and was perfect on his PATs, converting all 67 attempts.
Two more Tulsa defenders earned preseason mention as fourth-team selections – defensive end Jeremy Smith and safety McKinley Whitfield. Smith totaled 35 tackles and eight TFLs for -35 yards in 10 games, while Whitfield had 59 stops, four pass break-ups and blocked two kicks.
Tulsa Selections on Athlon Sports American Athletic Conference Preseason Team
Tyler Bowling, OG,
D'Angelo Brewer, RB
Chandler Miller, C
Evan Plagg, OT
Jesse Brubaker, DE
Justin Hobbs, WR
Redford Jones, PK
Craig Suits, LB
Kerwin Thomas, CB
Jeremy Smith, DE
McKinley Whitfield, DB