Memphis Tiger Football Places Nine On All-Conference Teams

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The University of Memphis football team placed nine total players on the American Athletic Conference all-league teams and two Tigers claimed individual awards, the league office announced Wednesday.

Redshirt sophomore Tony Pollard was named the conference’s Special Teams Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season, marking the fifth straight season a Tiger has grabbed AAC Special Teams Player of the Year honors. Pollard and senior linebacker Genard Avery were repeat first-team honorees in the vote of the league coaches and were joined on the first team by seniors Riley Ferguson, Anthony Miller, Gabe Kuhn and junior Trevon Tate.

Freshman defensive back TJ Carter was named the league’s Rookie of the Year and garnered second-team honors along with teammates Darrell Henderson and Joey Magnifico.

 Memphis matches the record six All-American Athletic Conference first team selections from the 2014 season. The Tigers fell just short of the 2014 team’s 10 total all-conference honorees.

 The following are the nine honored Tigers and a brief summary of their statistics and accomplishments from 2017:

 First Team – LB Genard Avery, QB Riley Ferguson, WR Anthony Miller, KR Tony Pollard, OL Gabe Kuhn and OL Trevon Tate

LB Genard Avery // Senior / Linebacker // 6-1 // 255 // Grenada, Miss./Grenada HS

–          Two-time first-team All-American Athletic Conference linebacker

–          Leads The American with 18.5 tackles for loss this season and stands in the top-10 in the FBS

–          Avery is the Tigers second-leading tackler with 67 stops and leads the team with 18.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.

–          Has a career-high 6.5 sacks this season and is just three sacks from tying the Memphis career sacks record

–          Named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week after the Tigers 56-25 win over Tulane. Avery had a career-high 3.5 sacks and 5.5 TFL. The Tigers finished with seven sacks, tying a program record last set in a win over Arkansas State in 2013

Riley Ferguson // Senior // Quarterback // 6-4 // 210 // Matthews, N.C./Butler HS

–          Top-15 in the FBS in passing yards (3,500), passing touchdowns (32) and points responsible for (228)

–          Ferguson’s 3,500 passing yards ranks third in a single season in program history and his 32 TD passes ties his own school record, which he set in 2016

–          Passed for a single game school-record 471 yards (33-of-53 passing) in the Tigers’ win at Houston

–          Holds the program record with three 400-yard passing games and 12 300-yard passing games

–          Tied the program record with seven touchdown passes in the win at UConn

–          Ferguson’s 7,198 career passing yards is third all-time at Memphis and his 64 career touchdowns ranks second

Anthony Miller // Senior // Wide Receiver // 5-11 // 190 // Memphis, Tenn./Christian Brothers HS

–          Memphis’ all-time leading receiver with 220 receptions for 3,340 receiving yards and 33 touchdowns, which are all program records.

–          Miller is top-10 nationally this season in receptions per game (7.1), receiving yards (1,212) and receiving touchdowns (14)

–          Miller’s 14 receiving touchdowns this season ties his own school record, which he set in 2016

–          He has five 100-yard receiving games this season and holds the program record with 16 total 100-yard receiving games

–          Caught a program single-game record four TD passes in this season’s win at UConn

–          Miller stands among the top-10 scorers in program history with 36 total TD (33 receiving/3 rushing) for 216 total points, which is good for eight

Tony Pollard // Sophomore // Kick Returner // 5-11 // 200 // Memphis, Tenn./Melrose HS

–          Back-to-back winner of the American Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Year and the fifth straight Memphis Tiger to win the award

–          Pollard leads the nation in kickoff return TD (4) and kickoff return average (44.2)

–          Returned four kickoffs for touchdowns this season, against ULM, Southern Illinois, Houston and East Carolina

–          The sophomore is closing in on the NCAA records for kick returns for touchdown in a season (5) and career (7)

–          One of only two active FBS players with six or more career kickoff return TD

Gabe Kuhn // Senior // Offensive Line // 6-4 // 295 // Wildwood, Mo./Lafayette HS

–          Senior has blocked for the four highest scoring offenses in program history. The Tigers have scored 517 points in 11 games this season, the second-most for a season in program history

–          The Tigers have amassed 5,825 total yards of offense this season, the third most in program history

–          Kuhn has been effective in helping protect QB Riley Ferguson. The Tigers rank seventh in the FBS in sacks allowed at just one a game

–          Has paved the way for the first 1,000-yard single season rusher for Memphis since 2009

–          Will make his 50th career start in the American Athletic Conference Championship at UCF Saturday, making him the first Tiger in program history to start 50 games

Trevon Tate // Junior // Offensive Line // 6-4 // 290 // Houston, Texas/North Shore HS

–          Tate has started all 11 games at left tackle, protecting QB Riley Ferguson’s blind side. Led by Tate, the Tigers rank seventh in the FBS in sacks allowed at just one a game

–          The Tigers have amassed 5,825 total yards of offense this season, the third most in program history

–          Memphis has scored 517 points in 11 games this season, the second-most for a season in program history

–          Has paved the way for the first 1,000-yard single season rusher for Memphis since 2009.

–          Tate has made 33 career starts over the last three seasons

Second Team – DB TJ Carter, RB Darrell Henderson and TE Joey Magnifico

 TJ Carter // Freshman // Defensive Back // 5-11 // 180 // Nashville, Tenn./Stratford HS

–          Has started all 11 games to date in his true freshman season at Memphis

–          Named the Bronko Nagurski Defensive Player of the Week after posting a career-best 14 tackles, including one TFL, one forced fumble, one pass break-up and a game-sealing interception in a 42-38 comeback win on the road at Houston

–          Leads the team with four interceptions, tying the Memphis freshman record

–          His 1.18 pass breakups per game ranks third in the AAC and he is the only freshman ranked in the top 40 in the conference with 5.3 tackles per game.

–          Also ranks tied for second in the league with two fumble recoveries on the season, including his first collegiate snap against ULM

Darrell Henderson // Sophomore // Running Back // 5-9 // 200 // Batesville, Miss./South Panola HS

–          Became first 1,000-yard single season rusher for Memphis since 2009. With two games remaining, has 1,045 yards on 115 rushes with eight touchdowns

–          His 9.09 yards per rush ranks second in the country and first among NCAA running backs

–          Has a streak of four consecutive 100-plus yard rushing games coming in to the AAC Championship game at UCF, Saturday

–          Ranks third in the AAC with 95.0 yards per game and fourth in all-purpose yards with 132.1

–          Also has 11 catches for 212 yards and two touchdowns and nine kick returns for 196 yards (21.8 ypr average)

–          Is the first Memphis running back to earn all-conference honors since Curtis Steele (2009 – C-USA)

Joey Magnifico // Sophomore // Tight End // 6-4 // 235 // Cordova, Tenn./St. Benedict HS

–          Had 21 catches for 280 yards and three touchdowns in his first year as a starter at tight end

–          Also helps a Memphis offensive line that powers an offense that ranks ninth in the NCAA with 327.1 yards passing per game and 32nd with 202.5 rushing yards per game

–          Has six passes 20-or-more yards in 2017

–          Is the third different Memphis tight end in as many seasons to earn all-conference honors (2014 – Alan Cross; 2015 — Daniel Montiel)

–          Had a career-high six catches for 83 yards and one touchdown in the win over then-No. 25 UCLA

COURTESY: Univ. of Memphis

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