DENTON, Texas (12/13/07) From walk-on to All-American. It’s a fairy tale story that could only come true in a movie, but University of North Texas wide receiver Casey Fitzgerald has made it reality.
Fitzgerald, a junior walk-on from Red Oak, Texas, was recently named an honorable mention All-America selection by SI.com. Fitzgerald came into the 2007 season with just 92 career receiving yards. He tallied more than his previous career total in half of the Mean Green’s 12 games this season. He finished sixth in the NCAA in receiving yards per game with 110.2 and third in the NCAA with 9.25 receptions per game. Fitzgerald was one of only two receivers in America this season with at least 100 catches, 1,200 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. He broke Sun Belt single-season records in receiving yards (1,322), receptions (104), receiving touchdowns (12) and receiving yards per game (114.9). His 104 receptions and 1,322 yards also set North Texas records.
Fitzgerald becomes the first Mean Green receiver to earn All-America honors from any publication since 1982 when Marvin Walker was a second-team selection by the Associated Press.
North Texas freshmen Giovanni Vizza and Craig Robertson were also both honored for their efforts during the 2007 season. Vizza and Robertson received honorable mention honors on the Scout.com Freshman All-America Team. Vizza also earned freshman honorable mention honors by SportingNews.com.
Vizza, who last week earned SBC Freshman of the Year honors, led the nation among true freshmen in pass attempts (383), pass completions (223), passing yards (2,388) and passing touchdowns (16). He set the NCAA record for most passing touchdowns by a freshman with eight TD tosses against Navy. In eight starts, Vizza became all-time leader in passing yards by a freshman at North Texas, besting Andrew Smith’s mark of 1,206 set in 2002.
At the linebacker position, Robertson, a freshman from Stafford, Texas, recorded 48 tackles and led North Texas with five interceptions in the eight games that he started for the Mean Green. Robertson helped force seven turnovers against the Sun Belt’s top offensive team in Troy, including his two interceptions.