Conference USA announced it’s preseason football team as selected by the league’s coaches today. Tulsa had three players named to the preseason team.
Senior Damaris Johnson (Norco, La.) was named the C-USA Special Teams Player of the Year. He was also selected to the preseason all-conference team as a receiver and punt returner. Senior offensive guard Clint Anderson (Allen, Texas) and sophomore safety Marco Nelson (Glenpool, Okla.) were also named to the coaches preseason team.
Johnson, a second-team Associated Press All-American last season, caught a team-high 57 passes for 872 yards and four touchdowns. Tulsa’s leading receiver also narrowly missed being the teams’ leading rusher, as Johnson missed that mark by one yard with 560 yards for a 10.1 average.
He is NCAA’s all-time kickoff return leader and the NCAA’s career record-holder for all-purpose yards, combining his receiving, rushing, kick return and punt return yardage for a career total of 7,796 yards.
With 2,746 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns in his career, Johnson enters this season needing just 597 yards to break the school’s career receiving total that has stood for over 45 years. Howard Twilley set Tulsa’s all-time receiving record in 1965 with 3,343 career yards.
Johnson also has 1,062 rushing yards and 571 punt return yards in his career.
Anderson has started 24 contests at left guard and last year earned second-team all-Conference USA accolades. He graded over 80-percent in 10 games, while playing 1,006 snaps a year ago.
A year ago, Nelson was named to the Football Writer’s Association of America Freshman All-America team. He was a first-team all-Conference USA selection and comes into the 2011 campaign as a preseason candidate for the Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s top defensive back.
Nelson corralled 86 tackles and six pass break-ups as a true freshman starter in 2010. He was named the Walter Camp Foundation FBS National Defensive Player of the Week when he had seven tackles and three interceptions deep in Tulsa territory against Houston.
The Conference USA Football Media Day is scheduled for Sunday, July 31, in Memphis, Tennessee. Follow media day coverage on www.TulsaHurricane.com and ConferenceUSA.com.
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