Irving, Texas –– The University of Tulsa took two of the six major player of the year honors in Conference USA as voted on by the league’s coaches, it was announced today.
Junior quarterback G.J. Kinne (Gilmer, Texas) was selected as the C-USA Offensive Player of the Year, while fellow junior Damaris Johnson (Norco, La.) was named the Special Teams Player of the Year.
Kinne’s honor marks the 11th time in the last 13 years that a quarterback has won the Offensive Player of the Year award. He ranks first in C-USA for total offense (322 ypg) and second for pass efficiency (141.8) and passing yards per game (275.6 ypg). Kinne has led Tulsa to the No. 1 ranking in C-USA in rushing offense, scoring offense and total offense.
The 6’2” Kinne has completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,307 yards and 28 TDs, and has rushed for 557 yards and 7 TDs. He has produced five 300+ yard passing games and one 400+ yard game this year.
A kick returner/punt returner Johnson leads the nation for the second straight year in all-purpose yards with a 191.8-yard per game average. Johnson has five 200+ all-purpose yard games and has 39 plays for over 20+ yards this year.
He became the FBS and C-USA record-holder for career kickoff return yards in only his junior year and he currently has 3,308 career KOR yards. In 2010, many opponents have kicked away from Johnson, as he returned only 29 kicks on 67 kickoffs. He has produced 795 yards, one TD and a 27.4-yard average on those 29 returns. Johnson currently ranks 24th in the FBS for kickoff return yards and 19th for punt returns this season.
He also has a team-leading 771 receiving yards and three TDs, while rushing for 462 yards, a 9.2 average and 6 TDs. Johnson earned first team all-Conference USA honors as a punt returner and second team recognition as a wide receiver and a kick returner this year.
The other Conference USA awards went to MVP Dwayne Harris of East Carolina, Defensive Player of the Year Bruce Miller of UCF, East Carolina quarterback Dominique Davis as Newcomer of the Year and UCF quarterback Jeff Godfrey as Freshman of the Year.
Kinne, Johnson and their Golden Hurricane teammates will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii to take on the University of Hawaii in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The Warriors, members of the Western Athletic Conference, have posted a 10-3 record including a 6-1 record at Aloha Stadium, the site of the upcoming game. The contest will be televised nationwide on ESPN.
Travel packages for the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl are available from Spears Travel by calling 918-254-1608, 1-800-688-8034 or at the company’s website. Fans wishing to donate tickets to the "tickets for troops" campaign may do so by calling 918-631-4688 or by clicking on TulsaHurricane.com.