Dec. 5, 2006
Irving, Texas (www.ucfathletics.com) - Senior Mike Walker (Orlando, Fla./Edgewater) and sophomore Joe Burnett (Eustis, Fla./Eustis) were among five Golden Knights recognized by the 12 head coaches in Conference USA on Tuesday. Walker and Burnett were both first-team honorees selected by the coaches who had a separate all-conference team for the first time in the 12-year history of the league.
The coaches also honored sophomore Kevin Smith (Miami, Fla./Southridge) and junior Mike Buscemi (Plantation, Fla./Western), naming the duo to their second team. Offensive guard Jeramy DeVane (Ormond Beach, Fla./Seabreeze) was an all-freshman team honoree.
Walker, who also was a first-team honoree by the league's media, broke the UCF single-season reception mark this year with 90 catches, eclipsing the old mark of 89 set by Tyson Hinshaw in 1990. Walker had five 100-yard receiving games, scored seven touchdowns and finished the campaign with 1,178 yards - the fourth best single-season total in school history.
Burnett was named the first-team punt returner by the coaches after averaging 12.00 yards per return this season. The Eustis native had a season-long punt return of 50 yards against Rice. Burnett averaged 14.7 yards per return in C-USA games.
Smith was named to the second team despite missing the final two games of the season with a shoulder injury. The Miami native finished his second campaign with 934 yards and seven touchdowns, while adding 23 receptions for 158 yards. All four of his 100-yard rushing efforts were in C-USA play and Smith's two-year total of 2,112 yards is a sophomore record at UCF.
This is the first year the league has recognized long snappers and the coaches honored Buscemi with second-team accolades. He was clean on all of his punt, extra-point and field goal snaps this season. DeVane earned all-freshman honors after starting the last three games at left guard for the Golden Knights. The true freshman saw action in six games this season.
Golden Knights who were named to the honorable mention team were wide receiver Rocky Ross (Jacksonville, Fla./Bolles School), defensive end Leger Douzable (Tampa, Fla./Alonso), defensive end Chris Welsh (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa), offensive tackle Patrick Brown (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North), offensive guar/center Kyle Smith (Brockway, Pa./Brockway) and safety Sha'reff Rashad (Jacksonville, Fla./Epsicopal).
This is the first year the league had separate media and coaches' all-conference teams. The coaches' individual C-USA awards will be announced on Wednesday, while the media all-conference teams and awards were released last week.