Koroma earns Freshman All-America honors, 10 Cougars receive Phil Steele All-Independent recognition
PROVO, Utah—BYU center Tejan Koroma received his fourth Freshman All-America award of the season is one of 10 Cougars named to the 2014 Phil Steele Postseason All-Independent Team released Thursday.
Koroma, who has also been selected to ESPN, Sporting News and 247 Sports all-freshman teams, was also named FBS Independent Freshman of the Year earlier today by a nationwide media panel.
Junior wide receiver Mitch Mathews, senior wide receiver Jordan Leslie and senior offensive tackle De’Ondre Wesley joined Koroma in receiving Phil Steele All-Independent honors on offense. Junior linebacker Bronson Kaufusi and senior defensive backs Robertson Daniel and Skye PoVey were named to the all-defensive team, while senior punter Scott Arellano, junior kicker Trevor Samson and junior kick returner Adam Hine were recognized on special teams.
Mathews led the team in the regular season with 64 receptions for 840 yards and eight touchdowns, while Leslie added 54 receptions, 756 receiving yards and six total touchdowns while ranking sixth nationally with 40 consecutive games with a pass reception. Koroma and Wesley helped anchor up front a BYU offense that ranks No. 19 nationally in scoring (36.2 points per game), No. 15 in first downs (303) and No. 25 in total offense (462.5 per game).
On defense, Kaufusi led the Cougars with six sacks, six quarterback hurries and 10.5 tackles for loss. PoVey led the team with 69 total tackles (47 solo) and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions, while Daniel had a team-best 13 pass breakups with one interception, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Arellano, a Ray Guy Award semifinalist, had the NCAA’s longest punt this year and broke BYU’s record with an 81-yard boot against Middle Tennessee. He averages 44.8 yards per punt while helping BYU rank No. 11 nationally for net punting. He has placed 43.3 percent of his punts inside the opponent 20-yard line while booming 21 punts more than 50 yards. Arellano was also honored as FBS Independent Special Teams Player of the Year earlier on Thursday. Samson converted 56 of 57 PATs this season and 10 of 12 field goals, while Hine ranks No. 10 nationally in kick return average with 26.9 yards per return. He returned a 99-yard touchdown against Virginia and is one of only seven players in the nation to score kick return, receiving and rushing touchdowns this season.
BYU placed the most players on the team with 10, followed by Notre Dame with nine, Navy with five and Army with four. Phil Steele’s College Football Preview is one of the nation’s most informative preseason football magazines and has always released Preseason, Midseason and Postseason All-American teams as well as all-conference teams.
For a full list of the Phil Steele's postseason teams, please visit PhilSteele.com. Select PDF below to view the 2013 Phil Steele Postseason All-Independent Team, All-America Team and Freshman All-America Team.
BYU (8-4) is preparing to face American Conference Champion Memphis (9-3) in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl on Monday at Marlins Park in Miami. The Cougars are one of 12 programs to earn a bowl bid for the 10th-straight season.