DENTON, Texas - Six North Texas football players earned All-Sun Belt Conference honors as the league announced its postseason awards today. Senior offensive lineman Aaron Fortenberry was the only player named to the first-team all-conference while linebacker Zach Orr, defensive back Zac Whitfield and punter Will Atterberry were named to the second team. Offensive lineman Cyril Lemon and Mason Y'Barbo were named honorable mention all-conference.
Fortenberry finished his career with North Texas by starting 33 straight games and blocking for running game that topped the 2,000 yard mark. He was the leader of an offensive line that ranked first in the NCAA by allowing the fewest quarterback sacks in the nation. It is the first time in his career he has been named to the all-conference team.
Orr led North Texas with 108 tackles on the year, a career high and the first time he has topped the 100-tackle mark in a season. It is the second time in his career to be named to the all-conference team, as Orr was a second-team all-conference pick last season.
Whitfield is one of just three freshman to be on either the first, second, or honorable mention all-conference teams. Whitfield led North Texas with three interceptions and was the first freshman since 2001 to lead the Mean Green in interception.
Whitfield was one of only nine freshmen in the nation with three or more interceptions on the year. He had 12 PBU's on the season, which led the Sun Belt Conference and ranked 24th in the nation. Whitfield is the only freshman in the nation to average 1.25 passes defended in the nation.
Atterberry became just the fourth player in school history to kick for over 10,000 yards in his career. It is the second all-conference honor for Atterberry in his four-year career. He led North Texas in punting for four straight seasons since 2009.
Lemon and Y'Barbo were part of an offensive line that blocked for a group of running backs that topped the 2,000 yard mark rushing this season. Both players started all 12 games this season. Lemon was named to the all-conference team for a second straight season and it's the first all-conference pick for Y'Barbo.
For a complete list of the 2011 Sun Belt All-Conference football team, please check SunBeltSports.org.