Layna Dewell, Newson6.com
IRVING, Texas – Conference USA released its list of Coaches Preseason Awards Wednesday and Tulsa's Damaris Johnson was named the Special Teams Player of the Year while Clint Anderson and Marco Nelson were named to the first team.
Johnson, who was last year's Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year, has led the nation in all-purpose yards the past two seasons averaging 224 all-purpose yards per game in 2009 and 201 yards per game in 2010.
A senior for Tulsa this year, Johnson is already the NCAA's all-time record holder for all-purpose yards with 7,796 and kickoff return yards with 3,417. Johnson led the team in receptions (57) and receiving yards (872) last year, while catching four
touchdowns. He was also named to the conference's preseason first team offense and to the special teams first team.
Anderson, a senior from Allen, Texas was named to the Conference USA First Team Offense. The 6'2 guard is a two-year starter for Tulsa who has played in 33 games in his career including 24 starts. In 2010 he started every game, playing a total of 1,006 snaps and was graded over 80 percent in 10 games.
Oklahoma native Marco Nelson was also named to the conference's first team defense. The Glenpool High School product started 12 games last year and ranked third on the teams with 86 stops and six interceptions. Although he missed spring drills because he was recovering from shoulder surgery, the sophomore is expected to pick up right where he left off and make an impact for the Golden Hurricane defense. Nelson was also named to the 2011 Thorpe Award preseason Watch List.
University of Houston quarterback Case Keenum was named the preseason Offensive Player of the Year award, while Marshall's Vinny Curry has been honored as the Defensive player of the year.
Houston had the most overall preseason selections with six, while defending C-USA Champion UCF had five.
Tulsa begins the season September 3 against the Oklahoma Sooners.
2011 C-USA FOOTBALL COACHES PRESEASON AWARDS
Offensive Player of the Year
Case Keenum, Sr., QB, Houston
Defensive Player of the Year
Vinny Curry, Sr., DE, Marshall
Special Teams Player of the Year
Damaris Johnson, Sr., KR/PR, Tulsa
First Team Offense
QB Case Keenum, Sr., Houston
RB Bryce Beall, Sr., Houston
RB Zach Line, Jr., SMU
OL Clint Anderson, Sr., Tulsa
OL Kelvin Beachum, Sr., SMU
OL Matt McCants, Sr., UAB
OL Nick Pieschel, Sr., UCF
OL Chris Thompson, Sr., Houston
WR Patrick Edwards, Sr., Houston
WR Damaris Johnson, Sr., Tulsa
WR Lance Lewis, Sr., East Carolina
TE Adam Nissley, Sr., UCF
First Team Defense
DL Vinny Curry, Sr., Marshall
DL Elliott Henigan, Sr., UAB
DL Cordarro Law, Sr., Southern Miss
DL Taylor Thompson, Sr., SMU
LB Ja'Gared Davis, Jr., SMU
LB Trent Mackey, Jr., Tulane
LB Marcus McGraw, Sr., Houston
LB Korey Williams, Sr., Southern Miss
DB Emanuel Davis, Sr., East Carolina
DB Kemal Ishmael, Jr., UCF
DB Marco Nelson, So., Tulsa
DB Josh Robinson, Jr., UCF
First Team Special Teams
K Danny Hrapmann, Sr., Southern Miss
P Kyle Martens, Sr., Rice
KR Quincy McDuffie, Jr., UCF
PR Patrick Edwards, Sr., Houston
PR Damaris Johnson, Sr., Tulsa