Hunter honored by Phil Steele
HUNTINGTON -- Marshall linebacker D.J. Hunter continued to receive accolades Wednesday for his first football season with the Thundering Herd.
Hunter was named as a second team selection on Phil Steele's Freshman All-America football team.
In addition to Hunter's honors, Steele's website (www.philsteele.com) named eight other Marshall players to its All-Conference USA team.
First team honorees included Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato, tight end Gator Hoskins and wide receiver Tommy Shuler.
Cato threw for 4,201 yards on the year with 37 touchdowns and he still leads the Football Bowl Subdivision in completions per game (33.83) and passing yards per game (350.08).
He was named the Conference USA Most Valuable Player by the league's coaches and CollegeSportsMadness.com's Offensive Player of the Year in the conference.
Cato was also named by the Touchdown Club of Columbus as one of 12 Players to Watch in 2013.
Hoskins, who received second-team honors by the league's coaches and was a first-team selection by CollegeSportsMadness.com, had the most touchdown catches by any tight end in the nation this season (10). He was named to the John Mackey Award Watch List, given to the nation's top tight end, while also earning National Tight End of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards after a three-touchdown effort against Purdue.
Shuler, a first-team selection by both the league's coaches and CollegeSportsMadness.com, shattered Marshall's 25-year-old record for receptions in a single season. He finished the year with 110 catches and 1,138 yards. His top performance was a 19-catch, 200-yard effort against Purdue.
Second-team honorees were wide receiver Aaron Dobson and safety Dominick LeGrande.
Despite struggling through injuries in the second half of the season, Dobson finished the year with 57 catches for 679 yards and three touchdowns. He was a Biletnikoff Award candidate and captain for the 2012 Marshall football team.
LeGrande, who was second-team from the league's coaches and CollegeSportsMadness.com, had 132 total tackles on the season -- a figure that was eighth nationally and most among defensive backs.
Third team honorees included three defensive players -- lineman Alex Bazzie, linebacker Jermaine Holmes and safety Okechukwu Okoroha.
Bazzie finished with 80 tackles (nine for loss) with two sacks while starting each game at defensive end.
Holmes had 82 tackles with 13.5 for loss, which ranked seventh in C-USA. He finished the year strong with 42 tackles in the final three games of the year.
Okoroha finished with 108 tackles from his free safety position while starting all 12 games. He also had four games in which he reached double-digits in tackles and finished the year with four pass-breakups and one fumble recovery.