|La. Tech lands four on All-WAC squad|
Louisiana Tech placed a program record four players on the all-Western Athletic Conference first team released by the league office Monday.
Tech, which finished tied for second in the WAC standings and earned its first bowl berth since 2001, also placed two players on the league's second team.
"The more success you have as a team, the more individual recognition your players receive," said Tech coach Derek Dooley. "These players are very deserving of this honor, and I am sure they appreciate the efforts of every member on our team that helped contribute to their individual success."
Junior running back Daniel Porter, junior safety Antonio Baker, junior defensive tackle D'Anthony Smith and sophomore returner Phillip Livas earned first-team honors while sophomore offensive lineman Rob McGill and senior punter Chris Keagle earned second-team accolades.
Baker is a first-team performer from a year ago while Keagle earns second-team honors this year after being a first teamer last season.
Porter earned first-team honors at running back after rushing for 1086 yards and eight touchdowns this season while also recording 11 receptions for 157 yards and one score. The Istrouma native recorded five 100-yard games during the season, including a stretch of four straight in league play.
Baker earned first-team accolades at safety for the second consecutive year after leading Louisiana Tech with 111 tackles, 4.5 TFL for minus 16 yards, three interceptions, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. The Amite native ranks second in the Western Athletic Conference in tackles per game.
Smith was named first team all-WAC by the league coaches after a stellar junior season in which he led all defensive linemen with 64 total tackles, which ranked second on the Tech team, 8.0 TFL for minus 45 yards, 5.0 sacks for minus 41 yards, and three pass break ups. The Pickering native anchored a Tech defense that ranked No. 11 in the nation against the run.
Livas earned first team all-WAC honors as the top returner. The Houma native recorded an average 16.6 yards on punt returns (ranked Top 10 in country) and also scored two touchdowns, including a 57-yarder against Southeastern Louisiana and an 81-yarder against Fresno State.
Livas also averaged 23.5 yards per return on kickoff returns. He had two returns for touchdowns (one punt, one kickoff) also called back due to penalties.
McGill anchored a Bulldog offensive line that helped pave the way for the Bulldogs to average almost 200 yards per game on the ground, ranking among the nation's top rushing attacks. He started all 12 games at left tackle for Tech and helped the Bulldogs average 4.8 yards per rush attempt this season and scored 22 rushing touchdowns.
Keagle earned second-team honors one season after being named to the first team. The Baton Rouge native averaged 41.1 yards per punt on 64 punts while downing 23 of them inside the opponents' 20-yard line with a long of 59 yards.
Nevada's Colin Kaepernick was named the Offensive Player of the Year, Hawai`i's Solomon Elimimian and San Jose State's Jarron Gilbert shared Defensive Player of the Year honors, and Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore was named the Freshman of the Year. Boise State's Chris Petersen was voted the WAC's Coach of the Year.
The complete all-WAC selections follow.
Top Individual Awards
Offensive Player of the Year - Colin Kaepernick, So., QB, Nevada
Co-Defensive Players of the Year - Solomon Elimimian, Sr., LB, Hawaii and Jarron Gilbert, Sr., DT, San Jose State
Freshman of the Year - Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State
Coach of the Year - Chris Petersen, Boise State
First Team Offense: Position, name, school, height, weight, year
WR, Jeremy Childs, Boise State, 6-0, 196, Jr.; WR, Marko Mitchell, Nevada, 6-4, 200, Sr.; WR, Chris Williams, New Mexico State, 5-8, 157, Sr.; TE, Eddie Williams, Idaho, 6-1, 249, Sr.; OL, Andrew Woodruff, Boise State, 6-2, 320, Sr.; OL, Bobby Lepori, Fresno State, 6-5, 290, Sr.; OL, John Estes, Hawaii, 6-2, 290, Jr.; OL, Adam Korby, Idaho, 6-2, 292, Sr.; OL, Dominic Green, Nevada, 6-3, 295, Sr.; QB, Colin Kaepernick, Nevada, 6-6, 215, So.; RB, Daniel Porter, Louisiana Tech, 5-9, 189, Jr.; RB, Vai Taua, Nevada, 5-10, 225, So.
Defense: Position, name, school, height, weight, year
DL, Ryan Winterswyk, Boise State, 6-4, 258, So.; DL, D'Anthony Smith, Louisiana Tech, 6-2, 292, Jr.; DL, Kevin Basped, Nevada, 6-6, 240, So.; DL, Jarron Gilbert, San Jose State, 6-6, 280, Sr.; LB, Ellis Powers, Boise State, 5-10, 200, Sr.; LB, Solomon Elimimian, Hawaii, 6-0, 220, Sr.; LB, Adam Leonard, Hawaii, 6-0, 235, Sr.; LB, Duke Ihenacho, San Jose State, 6-1, 200, So.; DB, Kyle Wilson, Boise State, 5-10, 185, Jr.; DB, Ryan Mouton, Hawaii, 5-10, 180, Sr.; DB, Antonio Baker, Louisiana Tech, 5-11, 200, Jr.; DB, Christopher Owens, San Jose State, 5-10, 170, Sr.
Specialists: Position, name, school, height, weight, year
PK, Brett Jaekle, Nevada, 6-4, 210, Sr.; P, T.J. Conley, Idaho, 6-3, 216, Sr.; ST, Phillip Livas, Louisiana Tech, 5-8, 170, So.
Second Team Offense
WR, Austin Petts, So., Boise State; WR, Michael Washington, Sr., Hawaii; WR, David Richmond, Sr., San Jose State; TE, Bear Pascoe, Sr., Fresno State; OL, Andrew Jackson, So., Fresno State; OL, Mike Iupati, Jr., Idaho; OL, Rob McGill, So., Louisiana Tech; OL, Alonzo Durham, Jr., Nevada; OL, Mike Gallett, So., Nevada; OL, Richie Bolin, Sr., New Mexico State; OL, Brennan McFadden, Jr., Utah State; QB, Kellen Moore, Fr., Boise State; RB, Ian Johnson, Sr., Boise State; RB, Yonus Davis, Sr., San Jose State
Defense; DL, Mike T. Williams, Sr., Boise State; DL, David Veikune, Sr., Hawaii; DL, Keala Watson, Sr., Hawaii; DL, Dontay Moch, So., Nevada; DL, Carl Ihenacho, Jr., San Jose State; LB, Chris Carter, So., Fresno State; LB, Ben Jacobs, So., Fresno State; LB, Justin Cole, Jr., San Jose State; LB, Jake Hutton, Jr., Utah State; LB, Paul Igboeli, Jr., Utah State; DB, Jeron Johnson, So., Boise State; DB, Moses Harris, Jr., Fresno State; DB, Derrick Richardson, Sr., NMSU; DB, Coye Francies, Sr., San Jose State
PK, Tino Amancio, Sr., Idaho; P, Chris Keagle, Sr., Louisiana Tech; P, Brad Langley, So., Nevada; ST, Kyle Wilson, Jr., Boise State.