DENTON (7/12/06) North Texas running back Jamario Thomas headlined the CollegeFootballNews.com Preseason All-Sun Belt Football Team, taking Offensive Player of the Year as well as top overall athlete honors.
Thomas, the 2004 national rushing champion, was one of seven Mean Green players named to the list. The junior, who was hampered by a nagging hamstring injury last season, was named the country’s 24th ranked running back by CFN after racking up 2,162 yards over the last two years.
Thomas was joined on the first team by offense lineman Dylan Lineberry, receiver Johnny Quinn and defensive end Jeremiah Chapman.
A former Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year, Lineberry has paved the way for two straight 1,000-yard rushers. Not only was the senior named the sixth-best overall athlete in the conference, the site listed him as the 22nd ranked offensive guard in the country.
Quinn is on the verge of overtaking nearly every receiving record in school history. The senior, ranked by CFN as the 29th best athlete in the conference, has caught a pass in every game of his career (36). Among the nation’s active career receiving leaders, Quinn ranks seventh in touchdowns (17), seventh in yards (2,085) and eighth in catches (130). Quinn was also named to the second-team all-conference as a kick returner.
One of only two returning all-conference defensive linemen in the Sun Belt, Chapman led the Mean Green with nine tackles for loss and four quarterback sacks, both of which ranked second among all Sun Belt Conference defensive ends and tied for eighth overall. He started in all 11 games and finished fifth on the team with a career-best 61 total tackles.
North Texas linebacker Maurice Holman and punter Truman Spencer were both named to the second team defense.
Safety Aaron Weathers, the 2005 Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year, was ranked the 26th best athlete in the conference.
The Mean Green open the 2006 season on Sept. 2 in Austin against University of Texas.