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View from the East
Thursday, January 30, 2003

By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer

Football timeout: Best players of 2002

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©2002 Bonesville.net

Last year's All-Carolinas Division I-A football team was released by Bonesville.net on Dec. 10, 2001, but postseason priorities were rearranged following East Carolina's recent season.

There were bigger questions on Dec. 10, 2002, a year later, such as, 'Who would be ECU's new football coach?'

There are still lingering questions in the early stages of the John Thompson coaching era at ECU, including, 'Who will be offensive coordinator on the new staff?' and 'Who will be aboard when the Pirates ship sets sail on signing day next Wednesday?'

N.C. State's Chuck Amato has already been named Carolinas coach of the year by Bonesville.net and earlier Wolfpack quarterback Philip Rivers also was named the site's Carolinas player of the year.

Let's take a timeout and look at the 2002 team.

2002 All-Carolinas Team

ALL-CAROLINAS OFFENSE

QB — Philip Rivers, N.C. State ... The Wolfpack junior led the ACC in average passing yards per game with 240.4, completing 62.7 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in NCSU's best-ever 10-3 season..

RB — Art Brown, East Carolina ... The junior from Winston-Salem ran for 1,029 yards and 14 touchdowns despite missing the last two games of the 2002 season with a pulled groin. He also had 181 yards in receptions and caught 3 TD passes. He averaged 10.4 points per game, fifth nationally, and was second team All Conference USA.

RB — T.A. McLendon, N.C. State ... The Wolfpack freshman made a big jump from the 1-A champions in Albemarle, N.C. in 2001 to help NCSU defeat Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl as he ran for 1,083 yards and 16 TDs.

OL — Brian Rimpf, East Carolina ... The Pirates junior from Raleigh earned All Conference USA honors as he helped an ECU back rush for over 1,000 yards for the second straight season with his dominating blocking.

OL — Blake Henry, Wake Forest ... A senior from Richmond, Va., Henry made first team All ACC and helped the Deacons to a 7-5 season that inlcuded a win over Oregon in the Seattle Bowl.

OL — Shane Riggs, N.C. State ... One reason the Wolfpack was able to establish an effective run/pass balance with Rivers and McLendon was the run/protect ability of its front wall, including Riggs, second team All ACC.

OL — Chris Colmer, N.C. State ...Another vital member of the Wolfpack pit crew and another second team All ACC choice.

OL — Gary Byrd, Clemson ... Carried on the fine tradition of quality offensive linemen for the Tigers and made honorable mention All ACC.

TE — Sean Berton, N.C. State ... After earning first team All ACC honors, Berton had five catches for 40 yards with a score in State's 28-6 bowl victory.

WR — Jerricho Cotchery, N.C. State ... The Wolfpack junior had 57 catches for 1,065 yards and six TDs while averaging 18.7 yards per catch en route to first team All ACC honors.

WR — Sam Aiken, North Carolina ... The Tar Heels senior led the ACC in yards in receptions per game with 82.5 and was honorable mention All ACC.

ALL-CAROLINAS DEFENSE

DL — Calvin Pace, Wake Forest ... The Deacons senior had eight sacks, 43 unassisted tackles and was named ACC defensive player of the year by The Sporting News. First team All ACC.

DL — Shawn Johnson, Duke ... The Blue Devils junior defensive end led the ACC in sacks with 12 and was in on a total of 71 tackles. First team All ACC.

DL — Nick Eason, Clemson ... Had seven sacks and 61 total tackles in making first team All ACC.

DL — Langston Moore, South Carolina ... The senior for the Gamecocks had 9.5 tackles for losses, 40 solo stops and 60 total tackles on his way to second team All SEC honors.

LB — Dantonio Burnette, N.C. State ... "Thunder Dan" knocked Notre Dame's starting quarterback out of the Gator Bowl as the Wolfpack senior finished the year with nine sacks and 132 total stops in earning first team All ACC recognition.

LB — Ryan Fowler, Duke ... The junior averaged 11.5 tackles per game for an improved Blue Devils defense.

LB — John Leake, Clemson ... The Tigers junior was in on 153 tackles and was honorable mention All ACC.

DB — Dexter Reid, North Carolina ... A first team All ACC selection, the Tar Heels junior led the league in involvement on tackles with 166, including 107 solo stops.

DB — Terrence Holt, N.C. State ... A first team All ACC choice, the Wolfpack senior forced three fumbles, had three interceptions and seven pass breakups.

DB — Kelly Hardy, East Carolina ... The senior safety led the Pirates in tackles with 110. He recovered three fumbles, including two that he returned for touchdowns, had 12 pass breakups and two interceptions which earned him selection to the Rotary Gridiron Classic in Orlando where he played in a 20-17 Team USA win over Team Florida on Jan. 25.

DB — Justin Miller, Clemson ... The Tigers freshman led the ACC in interceptions with seven and earned second team All ACC honors.

ALL-CAROLINAS SPECIAL TEAMS

K — Kevin Miller, East Carolina ... Came to ECU on a golf grant and will leave as ECU's top career scorer with 287 points, including 85 as a senior when he made 17 of 22 field goals and 34 of 36 extra points.

P — Jarad Preston, East Carolina ... Averaged 43.4 yards per punt, which ranked ninth nationally, and earned him first team All C-USA honors.

RS — Fabian Davis, Wake Forest ... The Deacons senior averaged 22.0 yards on kick returns and 9.4 yards on punt returns with one punt return for a touchdown.

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02/23/2007 12:40:23 AM
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