News & Analysis

Houston stars shine on PFF's 2018 All-AAC selections

By Cam Mellor
Dec 4, 2018

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Oct 27, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars quarterback D'Eriq King (4) attempts a pass during the second quarter against the South Florida Bulls at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 regular season is in the books and the College Football Playoffs are set. With the culmination of the regular season comes PFF’s awards and all-conference selections as well as our All-American lists for both the first and second team.

The All-conference selections have been made by each of PFF’s leading conference analyst based mainly on PFF’s play-by-play grading process for the entire season as well as cumulative grades, game grades against quality opposition, other PFF advanced statistics and playing time.

The All-AAC selections below are headlined by the first team with the second team listed below each position.

For all other all-conference teams: ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC | AAC | C-USA | MWC | MAC | Sun Belt

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Quarterback

First Team: D’Eriq King, Houston

King led the conference in overall grade as he was dominant on deep passes before his injury, completing 26 attempts targeted at least 20 yards downfield for 912 yards (first) and 12 touchdowns (second).

Second Team: McKenzie Milton, UCF

Running Back

First Team: Greg McCrae, UCF

McCrae ranked second behind Darrell Henderson in forced missed tackles per attempt (0.20) and yards after contact per attempt (4.5) among all qualifying AAC backs this season.

Second Team: Johnny Ford, USF

Running Back

First Team: Darrell Henderson, Memphis

Henderson led all AAC backs in forced missed tackles per attempt (0.26) and yards after contact per attempt (6.2), and he averaged an impressive 1.67 yards per route run in the passing game.

Second Team: Darius Bradwell, Tulane

Wide Receiver

First Team: James Proche, SMU

Proche led all of his colleagues in total yards after the catch (555) this past season as he also led all AAC receivers in first-down receptions with 58.

Second Team: Trevon Brown, East Carolina

Wide Receiver

First Team: Damonte Coxie, Memphis

Coxie averaged 3.07 yards per route run on the year, ranking second behind just Tulsa’s Darnell Mooney in the AAC. Coxie also recorded 34 receptions of 15-plus yards, an AAC-high among wide receivers.

Second Team: Ventell Bryant, Temple

Wide Receiver

First Team: Marquez Stevenson, Houston

Stevenson finished just behind Proche in total yards after the catch at 503 on the year, but he finished ahead of Proche in yards after the catch per reception (7.6). He forced 16 missed tackles after the catch this season to rank second.

Second Team: Kahlil Lewis, Cincinnati

Tight End

First Team: Josiah Deguara, Cincinnati

No AAC tight end ran more routes than  Deguara, and he averaged an impressive 1.57 yards per route run and 12.6 yards per reception for the Bearcats in 2018.

Second Team: Joey Magnifico, Memphis

Offensive Tackle

First Team: Trevon Tate, Memphis

Tate was a beast in pass protection for the Tigers, as he led all AAC offensive tackles with 250-plus pass-block snaps in PFF’s pass-blocking efficiency (98.9).

Second Team: Chad Pursley, SMU

Offensive Guard

First Team: Dustin Woodard, Memphis

Woodard’s 98.8 pass-blocking efficiency at the season’s end ranked tied for third among qualifying AAC guards. He allowed just nine total pressures (only one sack) across his 405 pass-block snaps. He also earned the AAC’s best run-block grade among guards.

Second Team: Jovahn Fair, Temple

Center

First Team: Drew Kyser, Memphis

Kyser’s 76.0 run-block grade led all qualifying AAC centers, and he earned a 98.3 pass-blocking efficiency on the year.

Second Team: Ford Higgins, Navy

Offensive Guard

First Team: Dylan Parham, Memphis

Parham’s success came in the run game, as he finished second in run-block grade behind his teammate, Woodard, among qualifying AAC guards.

Second Team: Nino Leone, UConn

Offensive Tackle

First Team: Jarrid Williams, Houston

Williams finished close behind Tate in PFF’s pass-blocking efficiency this past season, as he allowed just 12 total pressures across his 465 pass-blocking snaps and earned an impressive 98.5 pass-blocking efficiency.

Second Team: Roger Joseph, Memphis

DEFENSE

Edge Defender

First Team: Patrick Johnson, Tulane

Johnson led all AAC edge defenders in total pressures (41) while he also limited receivers to just 48 yards on 74 snaps in which he dropped back in coverage.

Second Team: Titus Davis, UCF

Edge Defender

First Team: Trevis Gipson, Tulsa

Gipson was a menace in run defense for Tulsa this season, recording a total of 37 defensive stops while he also accumulated 29 QB pressures on his 289 pass-rushes.

Second Team: Kirk Livingstone, USF

Defensive Interior

First Team: Ed Oliver, Houston

Not much more can be said about Oliver who was his usual dominant self this season. He not only led all AAC interior defenders in grade, but he also led all defensive players in the conference with a 92.7 overall grade.

Second Team: Alex Turner, East Carolina

Defensive Interior

First Team: Cortez Broughton, Cincinnati

Broughton turned a solid 2017 season into a massive 2018 campaign as he led AAC interior defensive linemen with 34 total QB pressures.

Second Team: O’Bryan Goodson, Memphis

Linebacker

First Team: Curtis Akins, Memphis

Akins was good all over the field for the Tigers this year, especially when blitzing as he registered 11 QB pressures on just 29 pass-rushing snaps.

Second Team: Austin Robinson, Houston

Linebacker

First Team: Aaron Ramseur, East Carolina

On 238 snaps in coverage, Ramseur was targeted 12 times and limited receivers to just 41 total yards and a 64.9 passer rating on throws into his coverage.

Second Team: Kyran Mitchell, SMU

Cornerback

First Team: Alexander Myres, Houston

Stingy in coverage, Myres made 18 defensive stops and saw a passer rating when targeted of just 78.5.

Second Team: Tyrell Gilbert, Cincinnati

Cornerback

First Team: Rock Ya-Sin, Temple

Ya-Sin broke out in 2018, finishing with the second-highest overall grade at cornerback. He was targeted 59 times as the primary coverage defender and made 10 plays on the ball (2 INT, 8 PBU), allowing a 63.1 passer rating.

Second Team: Brandon Moore, UCF

Safety

First Team: Richie Grant, UCF

Grant was a player to watch in the AAC Championship game before it kicked off and he finished his season on a high note with a game-sealing interception. In total, he recorded six interceptions and four more pass breakups, allowing a 45.2 passer rating on throws into his primary coverage.

Second Team: Jacob Springer, Navy

Safety

First Team: Delvon Randall, Temple

Randall recorded 22 defensive stops and allowed less than 50.0% of passes thrown his way to be caught in 2018.

Second Team: Roderick Teamer Jr., Tulane

Flex Defense

First Team: Rashard Causey, UCF

Causey was tremendous all over the field for the Knights, recording a whopping six QB pressures on just 13 pass-rushing snaps while he also held opponents to under 50.0% catch rate on targeted throws.

Second Team: McKinley Whitfield, Tulsa

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker

First Team: Jake Verity, East Carolina

Verity was almost automatic in 2018, missing just a lone extra point and knocking home 90.0% of his field goals including his lone kick of 50-plus yards.

Second Team: Matthew Wright, UCF

Punter

First Team: James Smith, Cincinnati

Averaging the conference’s highest hangtime on punts, Smith recorded a ridiculous net punt average of 44.8, which was 5.2 yards further than the next conference punter.

Second Team: Luke Magliozzi, UConn

Kick Returner

First Team: Bentlee Sanders, USF

Sanders averaged a conference-best 28.1 yards per kick return and finished as the highest-graded kick returner in the process.

Second Team: Amare Jones, Tulane

Punt Returner

First Team: Pop Williams, Memphis

Williams was our Second-Team All-American at punt returner as he gained a conference-high 310 yards on punt returns while averaging 11.1 yards per return without a muff this season.

Second Team: Isaiah Wright, Temple

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