2020 Conference USA football team


By Bryan Walters - bwalters@aimmediamidwest.com



Marshall redshirt senior linebacker Tavante Beckett (4) celebrates after making a tackle against Rice in a Dec. 5, 2020, football contest in Huntington, W.Va.

Marshall redshirt senior linebacker Tavante Beckett (4) celebrates after making a tackle against Rice in a Dec. 5, 2020, football contest in Huntington, W.Va.


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday, left, watches the video board during a replay challenge against Florida International on Nov. 30, 2019, at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, W.Va.


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

DALLAS — The Marshall football team had 16 players selected to the 2020 Conference USA football teams, as voted on by the coaches within each of the two divisions.

The Thundering Herd (7-3) claimed the program’s first CUSA East Division title since 2014 before ultimately falling in the CUSA Championship game against Alabama-Birmingham.

Nonetheless, the Green and White had 10 people named to the first team — including a trio that brought home some special honors in the process.

MU coach Doc Holliday was named the CUSA coach of the year, quarterback Grant Wells named the CUSA freshman of the year and linebacker Tavante Beckett was chosen as the defensive player of the year.

Both Wells and Beckett were first team honorees at their respective positions as well.

Running back Brenden Knox, linemen Cain Madden and Josh Ball, and tight end Xavier Gaines were first team selections on the offensive side of the ball, while end Darius Hodge and cornerback Steven Gilmore were chosen to the defensive first team.

Talik Keaton was also a first team selection on special teams as a punt returner.

Marshall was represented by offensive lineman Alex Mollette, defensive tackle Jamare Edwards and defensive back Nazeeh Johnson on the second team.

Linebacker Eli Neal, defensive back Brandon Drayton and long snapper Zach Appio were honorable mention selections for the Herd as well.

2020 Conference USA Football Teams

FIRST TEAM OFFENSE

QB: Grant Wells, Marshall.

RB: Brenden Knox, Marshall; Sincere McCormick, UTSA.

OL: Kody Russey, Louisiana Tech; Cain Madden, Marshall; Josh Ball, Marshall; Colby Ragland, UAB; Sidney Wells, UAB.

TE: Xavier Gaines, Marshall.

WR: Jaelon Darden, North Texas; Austin Trammell, Rice; Austin Watkins, Jr., UAB.

FIRST TEAM DEFENSE

DT: Milton Williams, Louisiana Tech; Dion Novil, North Texas.

DE: Darius Hodge, Marshall; Jordan Smith, UAB; DeAngelo Malone, WKU.

LB- Tavante Beckett, Marshall; Blaze Alldredge, Rice; Kristopher Moll, UAB.

DB: BeeJay Williamson, Louisiana Tech; Steven Gilmore, Marshall; Gregory Grate, Jr., Middle Tennessee; Rashad Wisdom, UTSA.

FIRST TEAM SPECIAL TEAMS

K: Hunter Duplessis, UTSA.

P: Lucas Dean, UTSA.

KR: Wayne Toussant, Louisiana Tech.

PR: Talik Keaton, Marshall.

LS: Jacob Fuqua, UAB.

Most Valuable Player:

Jaelon Darden, North Texas.

Offensive Player of the Year:

Sincere McCormick, Texas-San Antonio.

Defensive Player of the Year:

Tavante Beckett, Marshall.

Special Teams Player of the Year:

Lucas Dean, Texas-San Antonio.

Freshman of the Year:

Grant Wells, Marshall.

Newcomer of the Year:

Luke Anthony, Louisiana Tech.

Coach of the Year:

Doc Holliday, Marshall.

SECOND TEAM OFFENSE

QB: Asher O’Hara, Middle Tennessee.

RB: Spencer Brown, UAB; Frank Gore, Jr., Southern Miss.

OL: Alex Mollette, Marshall; Jacob Brammer, North Texas; Ahofitu Maka, UTSA; Makai Hart, UTSA; Spencer Burford, UTSA; Jordan Meredith, WKU.

TE: Jordan Myers, Rice; Hayden Pittman, UAB.

WR: Victor Tucker, Charlotte; Adrian Hardy, Louisiana Tech; Jacob Cowing, UTEP.

SECOND TEAM DEFENSE

DT: Jamare Edwards, Marshall; Antonio Moultrie, UAB.

DE: Leighton McCarthy, Florida Atlantic; Praise Amaewhule, UTEP.

LB: Trey Baldwin, Louisiana Tech; Tyler Grubbs, Louisiana Tech; Hayes Maples, Southern Miss; Noah Wilder, UAB.

DB: Nazeeh Johnson, Marshall; Brontae Harris, UAB; TD Marshall, UAB; Devon Key, WKU; Dionté Ruffin, WKU.

SECOND TEAM SPECIAL TEAMS

K: Brayden Narveson, WKU.

P: John Haggerty, WKU.

KR: Lexington Joseph, FIU.

PR: Smoke Harris, Louisiana Tech.

LS: Reeves Blankenship, Louisiana Tech.

HONORABLE MENTION OFFENSE

QB: Chris Reynolds, Charlotte; Mike Collins, Rice; Frank Harris, UTSA.

RB: Aaron McAllister, Charlotte; D’Vonte Price, FIU; Israel Tucker, Louisiana Tech; DeAndre Torrey, North Texas; Deion Hankins, UTEP.

OL: Jaelin Fisher, Charlotte; Shane McGough, FIU; Abraham Delfin, Louisiana Tech; Joshua Mote, Louisiana Tech; Robert Jones, Middle Tennessee; Anterrious Gray, North Texas; Manase Mose, North Texas; Clay Servin, Rice; Jovaun Woolford, Rice; Shea Baker, Rice; Arvin Fletcher, Southern Miss; Khalique Washington, Southern Miss; Matthew Trehern, UAB; Andrew Meyer, UTEP; Bobby DeHaro, UTEP; Cole Spencer, WKU; Mason Brooks, WKU.

TE: Jason Pirtle, North Texas; Gerrit Prince, UAB; Leroy Watson, UTSA; Joshua Simon, WKU.

WR: CeeJay Powell, Louisiana Tech; Smoke Harris, Louisiana Tech; Jarrin Pierce, Middle Tennessee; Jake Bailey, Rice; Jason Brownlee, Southern Miss; Myron Mitchell, UAB; Justin Garrett, UTEP; Joshua Cephus, UTSA; Zakhari Franklin, UTSA; Xavier Lane, WKU.

HONORABLE MENTION DEFENSE

DT: Timmy Horne, Charlotte; Davon Strickland, FIU; Jaylen Joyner, Florida Atlantic; De’braylon Carroll, Rice; Tahj Sykes, Southern Miss; Tyree Turner, UAB; Keenan Stewart, UTEP; Brandon Matterson, UTSA; Jaylon Haynes, UTSA; Jeremy Darvin, WKU; Ricky Barber, WKU.

DE: Romeo McKnight, Charlotte; Tyriq Harris, Charlotte; Eric Kendzior, Louisiana Tech; Lorenzo Dantzler, UTSA.

LB: Tyler Murray, Charlotte; Ahman Ross, Florida Atlantic; Caliph Brice, Florida Atlantic; Ezekiel Barnett, Louisiana Tech; Eli Neal, Marshall; KD Davis, North Texas; Santrell Latham, Southern Miss; Stephen Forester, UTEP; Charles Wiley, UTSA; Trevor Harmanson, UTSA; Eli Brown, Gr., WKU; Kyle Bailey, WKU.

DB: Ben DeLuca, Charlotte; Dorian Hall, FIU; Josh Turner, FIU; Richard Dames, FIU; Rishard Dames, FIU; Jordan Helm, Florida Atlantic; Teja Young, Florida Atlantic; Zyon Gilbert, Florida Atlantic; Khalil Ladler, Louisiana Tech; Zach Hannibal, Louisiana Tech; Brandon Drayton, Marshall; Makyle Sanders, North Texas; Malik Shorts, Southern Miss; Natrone Brooks, Southern Miss; Tyler Barnes, Southern Miss; Damon Miller, UAB; Dy’Jonn Turner, UAB; Will Boler, UAB; Justin Prince, UTEP; Corey Mayfield, UTSA; Antwon Kincade, WKU; Dominique Bradshaw, WKU; Trae Meadows, WKU.

HONORABLE MENTION SPECIAL TEAMS

K: Jacob Barnes, Louisiana Tech; Briggs Bourgeois, Southern Miss; Matt Quinn, UAB.

P: Connor Bowler, Charlotte; Tommy Heatherly, FIU; Matt Hayball, Florida Atlantic; Bernardo Rodriguez, North Texas.

KR: Deion Hair-Griffin, North Texas; Austin Trammell, Rice; Duron Lowe, UTEP; Brennon Dingle, UTSA.

PR: Jake Bailey, Rice; Justin Garrett, UTEP.

LS: Tommy Zozus, FIU; Zach Appio, Marshall; Nate Durham, North Texas; Brody Butler, Middle Tennessee; T.J. Harvey, Southern Miss; Caleb Cantrell, UTSA; Matt Baldeck, WKU.

© 2021 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

Marshall redshirt senior linebacker Tavante Beckett (4) celebrates after making a tackle against Rice in a Dec. 5, 2020, football contest in Huntington, W.Va.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/01/web1_1.5-MU-Beckett.jpgMarshall redshirt senior linebacker Tavante Beckett (4) celebrates after making a tackle against Rice in a Dec. 5, 2020, football contest in Huntington, W.Va. Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday, left, watches the video board during a replay challenge against Florida International on Nov. 30, 2019, at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, W.Va.
https://www.mydailytribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/42/2021/01/web1_1.5-MU-Doc.jpgMarshall head coach Doc Holliday, left, watches the video board during a replay challenge against Florida International on Nov. 30, 2019, at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, W.Va. Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

By Bryan Walters

bwalters@aimmediamidwest.com

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.