Nine University of Cincinnati football student-athletes were named All-American Athletic Conference for the 2013 season, the league office announced Wednesday.
Sophomore OT Eric Lefeld (Coldwater, Ohio/Coldwater), senior TE Blake Annen (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington), junior RB/RS Ralph David Abernathy IV (Atlanta, Ga./Westminster School) and senior DL Jordan Stepp (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central) were named to the first team while senior LB Greg Blair (Pittsburgh, Pa./Schenley/Lackawanna CC), senior CB Deven Drane (Plantation, Fla./Plantation), senior OG Sam Longo (Spring Valley, Ohio/Bellbrook/Ohio State), senior WR Anthony McClung (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) and sophomore DL Silverberry Mouhon (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) were second-team honorees.
Lefeld, who is the only unanimous all-conference pick this year, and Blair were both first-team honorees in 2012 and are the only UC players to be repeat as all-conference recipients.
Lefeld and Longo anchored an offensive line unit that led the American in rushing offense with over 168 yards per game while surrendering only 12 sacks, a mark that was top in the AAC and was tied for 11th nationally in 2013.
Annen aided the offensive line in the league’s best running game but also added a threat in the passing game. The senior reeled in 15 catches for 177 yards and two touchdowns, which are all career highs.
Abernathy IV was one of the most feared returners in the league which resulted in many opponents kicking away from the speedy return specialist. The junior returned a total of 16 kicks for an average of 21.94 yards.
Stepp was second on the team and tied for sixth in the American with six sacks. He also finished fifth on the team in tackles with 43, eight of which were for a loss, and had one fumble recovery. The senior tallied a career high nine tackles versus Louisville.
McClung led the Bearcats in receiving and was fifth in the conference with 908 yards on 68 receptions, including five touchdowns. The wide out pulled in 6.2 receptions per game and tallied seven games of 90 or more receiving yards.
Mouhon tied for third in the American and finished Top-20 in the NCAA FBS with 9.5 sacks. He recorded 37 total tackles while forcing two fumbles and seven quarterback hurries. The sophomore garnered a sack in seven of UC’s games.
Blair led UC in tackles and tied for ninth in the AAC with 96 tackles. He accumulated 6.5 tackles for loss while adding five quarterback hurries, three pass breakups, one sack, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. The senior had nine games with five or more tackles and four double-digit tackle games, including 18 stops versus Louisville.
Drane intercepted a team-high three passes and defended a total of eight passes. He generated 24 tackles on the season and accumulated 85 return yards on his three picks for an average of 28.3.
Cincinnati (9-3, 6-2 AAC) will close out the 2013 season against North Carolina (6-6, 4-4 ACC) in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 28 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. The game will kick off at 3:20 p.m. ET, be televised by ESPN and broadcast on radio by 700 WLW AM.
Tickets are on sale now at CATSTIX.com, start at $50 and are available at four pricing levels: club seats ($100), lower sideline ($85), lower endzone ($75) and upper level ($50). All handling and shipping fees are included.
Tickets are available for purchase by all fans, including UCATS members, students and the general public. Seating assignments will be determined by UCATS tier level and then priority points within the tier level. Fans are strongly encouraged to order tickets online to avoid long wait times on the phone or in person at the Athletics Ticket Office.
All individuals who buy or donate tickets through UC will receive two (2) tickets to a future American Athletic Conference men's basketball game.
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Marcus Smith, DE, Louisville (Sr., Columbus, Ga.)
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS OF THE YEAR Demarcus Ayers, RS, Houston (Fr., Lancaster, Texas) Tom Hornsey, P, Memphis (Sr., Geelong, Victoria, Australia)
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR John O'Korn, QB, Houston (Fr., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE COACH OF THE YEAR George O'Leary, UCF