NT Picked To Finish Fifth In C-USA West Division

Mean Green head coach Dan McCarney

July 17, 2013


North Texas was picked to finish in fifth place in the West Division in Conference USA as the league announced its preseason all-conference awards and predicted order of finish today. Defending Conference USA champion Tulsa is the unanimous preseason favorite to win the West Division, and 2012 division co-champion East Carolina is favored to take the East Division crown.

“We know that we have our work cut out for us heading into a new league, and we have a lot of prove against some great teams that are in our division and our league,” said North Texas head coach Dan McCarney.

 Marshall and Middle Tennessee were the other schools to receive first place votes. Marshall junior QB Rakeem Cato was chosen as the preseason Offensive Player of the Year, Rice senior DB Phillip Gaines was named the Defensive Player of the Year and Tulane senior PK Cairo Santos earned Special Teams Player of the Year honors. North Texas did not place anyone on the preseason first-team.

The league’s ninth annual championship game, pitting the champions of the East and West divisions, will be held Saturday, December 7. 

The 2013 C-USA football season kicks off Thursday, August 29, with three non-conference games. All but one of the league’s 14 teams are in action during opening weekend, with seven games scheduled to air on television.

North Texas opens the regular season on August 31 at 6 p.m. at home against the Idaho Vandals. The first Conference USA game for the Mean Green is against Tulane on October 5.

Offensive Player of the Year
Rakeem Cato, Jr., QB, Marshall

Defensive Player of the Year
Phillip Gaines, Sr., DB, Rice

Special Teams Player of the Year
Cairo Santos, Sr., K, Tulane

First Team Offense
QB          Rakeem Cato, Jr., Marshall
RB           Vintavious Cooper, Sr., East Carolina
RB           Darrin Reaves, Jr., UAB
OL           Jake Alexander, Jr., Tulsa
OL           Stetson Burnett, Sr., Tulsa
OL           Scott Inskeep, Jr., UTSA
OL           Nate Richards, Sr., Rice
OL           Matt Shepperd, Jr., Louisiana Tech
OL           Will Simmons, Sr., East Carolina
WR         Justin Hardy, Jr., East Carolina
WR         Ryan Grant, Sr., Tulane
WR         Tommy Shuler, Jr., Marshall
TE           Gator Hoskins, Sr., Marshall 

First Team Defense
DL           Christian Covington, So., Rice
DL           Justin Ellis, Sr., Louisiana Tech
DL           Greg Hickman, Sr., FIU
DL           Rakeem Nunez-Roches, DL, Southern Miss
LB           Shawn Jackson, Sr., Tulsa
LB           Derrell Johnson, Sr., East Carolina
LB           Andre Kirk, Jr., Florida Atlantic
DB          Kevin Byard, So., Middle Tennessee
DB          Lorenzo Doss, So., Tulane
DB          Phillip Gaines, Sr., Rice
DB          Marco Nelson, Sr., Tulsa

First Team Special Teams
K             Cairo Santos, K, Tulane
P             Tyler Williams, P, Marshall
KR           Reggie Whatley, Jr., Middle Tennessee
PR           Trey Watts, Sr., Tulsa

EAST DIVISION                                  Pts

1. East Carolina (11)                         95
2. Marshall (2)                                   82
3. Middle Tennessee (1)                   70
4. UAB                                               54
5. Southern Miss                               40
6. Florida Atlantic                              28
7. FIU                                                23 

WEST DIVISION                                 Pts

1. Tulsa (14)                                        98
2. Rice                                                 76
3. Louisiana Tech                                72
4. UTEP                                               46
5. North Texas                                     39
6. Tulane                                              31
7. UTSA                                               30 


























North Texas Mean Green