UCF’s Ward Tops Phil Steele 2022 All-AAC Squad

Second-team All-America long snapper Alex Ward joined a quintet of other UCF football players—offensive linemen Lokahi Pauole and Ryan Swoboda, defensive linemen Ricky Barber and Tre'mon Morris-Brash and linebacker Jason Johnson—on the American Athletic Conference all-league first team selected by Phil Steele. In addition to the six Knights on the first team, three players earned second-team honors, five merited third-team recognition while three others were named to the fourth team.
Morris-Brash (51 tackles, team-high 13 TFL for 49 yards, team-high 6 sacks for 37 yards, 4 PBU, 7 QBH, 2 FR for 104 yards, 1 FF), Johnson (team-high 119 tackles, 4 TFL for 19, 1 sack for 12, 4 QBHs, 2 FR, 2 FF) and Barber (44 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 3 sacks for 22 yards, 4 PBU, team-high 12 QBH) paced the UCF defense that led the nation much of the season in red-zone defense. Pauole and Swoboda were members of a stellar UCF offensive line that has the Knights ranked 11th nationally and leading the AAC in total offense, averaging 480.6 yards per game. Additionally, that group has paved the way for UCF to rush for 200 or more yards in nine of its 13 games this season as the Knights currently stand eighth nationally in rushing at 236.1 yards per outing. Ward was a finalist for the Patrick Mannelly Award for the second straight year.

Quarterback John Rhys Plumlee (197 of 312 passing for 2,404 yards, 14 TDs; 145 rushes for 841 yards, 11 TDs), center Matt Lee and receiver Ryan O'Keefe (team-high 73 catches for 725 yards, 5 TDs; 23 carries for 222 yards rushing) made the second team.
Running back RJ Harvey (112 carries for 767 yards, 5 TDs; 19 catches for 190 yards), offensive guard Sam Jackson, safety Divaad Wilson (41 tackles, 1 TFL, 3 INTs for 12, 4 PBU, 2 QBHs, 1 FR, 1 FF), kicker Colton Boomer (14 of 15 on field goals) and punt returner Xavier Townsend (9.3 average on 19 returns) all claimed third-team honors. Running back Isaiah Bowser (team-high 194 carries for 760 yards, team-high 14 TDs; 14 receptions for 185 yards), wide receiver Javon Baker (54 catches for 747 yards, 5 TDs) and linebacker Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste (52 tackles, 5 TFL, 4 PBU, 1 sack, 1 QBH, 1 FF) were selected to the fourth team.
Here's a complete listing of All-AAC recognition for UCF players in 2022 (Swoboda, Pauole, Barber, Morris-Brash and Lee have been named to each of the four teams):

Name                                   AAC Coaches Pro Football FocusPro Football NetworkPhil Steele
OT Ryan Swoboda12HM1
OG Lokahi Pauole1211
DT Ricky Barber12+11
DE Tre'mon Morris-Brash1321
LB Jason Johnson1-21
OT Samuel Jackson21-3
Matthew Lee 2122
CB Davonte Brown--*+1-
LS Alex Ward---#1
WR Ryan O'Keefe 2--2
RB Isaiah Bowser2-24
WR Javon Baker-2-4
RB RJ Harvey-323
CB Justin Hodges--2-
S Divaad Wilson--23
QB John Rhys Plumlee---2
CB Corey Thornton-3--
OT Tylan Grable-3--
Colton Boomer -3-3
PR Xavier Townsend---3
LB Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste---4
DE Josh Celiscar--HM-
*selected PFN AAC Cornerback of the Year; +selected by PFN as honorable mention All-Americans; #selected by Phil Steele as second-team All-American