Dec. 10, 2013
DENTON, Texas – Brelan Chancellor led a contingent of 12 North Texas players to land 14 spots on the Conference USA 2013 All-Conference football teams, as selected by the league’s 14 head football coaches and announced today.
Chancellor was a first-team all-conference pick as the kick returner and punt return, and a second-team all C-USA pick as a wide receiver. Chancellor is just the second player in league history to be named first team at both return positions.
North Texas and Rice had the most first-team all-conference picks with five. The 14 all-conference selections are the most for NT since 2002 and are tied for the second most in school history.
In addition Conference USA has announced its 2013 All-Freshman football team, as selected by the league's 14 head football coaches and center Kaydon Kirby and punter Blake Macek were picked from North Texas.
Joining Chancellor on the first team are offensive lineman Cyril Lemon, linebacker Zach Orr and safety Marcus Trice. Offensive lineman Mason Y’Barbo and defensive end Aaron Bellazin were named second-team All-C-USA.
Running Brandin Byrd, wide receiver Darnell Smith, defensive lineman Richard Abbe, linebacker Derek Akunne, defensive back Kenny Buyers and safety Lairamie Lee earned honorable mention all-conference recognition.
For Chancellor, it is the third all-conference selection for his career. Chancellor leads C-USA in kickoff and punt return yards this season and is one of only two players in the nation with three punt returns of over 50 yards.
Lemon earned his third straight all-conference honor, but the first time he has been a first-team all-conference selection. He is the only player in the nation to start every game the last three years since his freshman year and earn three straight all-conference honors.
Orr is a first-team all-conference pick and the leading tackler for North Texas with a career-high 114, which is tied for 10th in a single season all-time at NT. He leads the team with 11.0 tackles for loss and four fumbles recovered, with four and ranks third in C-USA in total tackles and tackles per game.
Trice is a first-team all-conference pick for the first time in his career. The versatile safety for the Mean Green leads NT with five interceptions and eight PBUs and is tied for third in C-USA in interceptions and seventh in PBUs. He racked up a career-high 83 tackles, which ranks 14th in C-USA.
Y’Barbo earned his second straight all-conference honor while Bellazin earned the first all-conference honor of his career. Byrd, Smith, Abbe, Akunne, Buyers and Lee also picked up the first all-conference awards of their careers.
Kirby started all 12 games at center this season for North Texas, the first center to start all 12 games as a freshman since Andy Brewster in 2001. Macek finished the season with the best freshman punting average in school history.
Conference USA will announce the Players of the Year and all-freshman team Wednesday.