Strong named Big East co-coach of the year, Hakeem Smith top rookie

A pair of awesome accomplishments. Neither were really expected, but both are deserved.

U of L:

The University of Louisville received two of the top awards within the BIG EAST Conference when head coach Charlie Strong was named the Co-BIG EAST Coach of the Year and red-shirt freshman Hakeem Smith was tabbed the league's Rookie of the Year.

Strong shared the award with Connecticut's Randy Edsall, whose team won the BIG EAST and will make the school's first BCS appearance.

After having just one player earn second team honors last season, Louisville put four on the first team in offensive guard Mark Wetterer, running back Bilal Powell, tight end Cameron Graham and cornerback Johnny Patrick. Smith and offensive tackle Byron Stingily were named second team All-BIG EAST. The Cardinals finished 6-6 and will play Southern Mississippi in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl on Dec. 21.

Picked to finish last in the BIG EAST by the media, Strong earned BIG EAST Coach of the Year accolades after guiding the Cardinals to a 6-6 record and a 3-4 record in the BIG EAST Conference -- a two-game turnaround for overall wins and in the league. Louisville was 4-8 and 1-6 in the BIG EAST last season. Strong is the first Louisville head coach to win the award since the Cardinals joined the league in 2005.

Smith won the Rookie of the Year Award after leading the Cardinals in tackles with 80. He is the first Cardinal to win the award since Victor Anderson was tabbed in 2008. Smith, who also earned second team All-League honors, had five games of seven or more tackles, including a career-best 13 in a win over Syracuse.

Wetterer earns first-team honors after starting 12 games at guard, while spearheading a rushing attack that ranks second in the BIG EAST Conference and had one of the nation's top rushers. Wetterer has started 28 eight games in his solid Louisville career.

Powell was named to the first team after posting one of the top rushing season's in Louisville history. The 6-0 senior ran for a career-best 1,330 yards and 10 touchdowns and ranks second in the BIG EAST Conference and tenth nationally in rushing at 120.9 yards per game. A native of Lakeland, Fla., posted a pair of 200 yards games, running for 204 yards versus Memphis and 209 against Cincinnati. He tied a school record with seven 100-yard rushing games and has eight in his career. Heading into the Beef O'Brady's Bowl, Powell needs just 100 yards to break the school's single-season rushing record.

Leading the BIG EAST Conference in receptions among tight ends, Graham earns first-team accolades after tallying a team-high 37 receptions for 439 yards and four touchdowns. He caught a pass in every game this season, including a career-high six receptions for 95 yards versus West Virginia.

Patrick had his best season at the cornerback position, recording 47 tackles and a career-high five interceptions. He registered two interceptions, including returning one for a touchdown, in the 40-13 win over Rutgers to help the Cardinals become bowl-eligible. Patrick is tied for 15th nationally and third in the BIG EAST in interceptions. A three-year starter at cornerback, Patrick is leads the BIG EAST in passes defended with 16.

Stingily started all 12 games at offensive tackle and was one of the main reason's why the Cardinals offensive line improved quite a bit in 2010. Stingily started 11 games at tackle last season after transferring to Louisville from junior-college.

Complete awards: 

2010 BIG EAST CONFERENCE FOOTBALL AWARDS

 

BIG EAST CONFERENCE OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Jordan Todman, RB, Connecticut (Jr., North Dartmouth, Mass.) *
 
 

BIG EAST CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh (Sr., Hollywood Hills, Fla.)
 
 

BIG EAST CONFERENCE SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Lindsey Lamar, WR, USF (So., Tampa, Fla.)
 
 

BIG EAST CONFERENCE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Hakeem Smith, S, Louisville (RFr., Jonesboro, Ga.)
 
 

BIG EAST CONFERENCE COACHES OF THE YEAR

Randy Edsall, Connecticut
Charlie Strong, Louisville
 
 
ALL-BIG EAST CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM
 
OFFENSE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pos.
 
Player
 
School
 
Cl.
 
Ht.
 
Wt.
 
Hometown/High School
WR
Armon Binns
Cincinnati
Sr.
6-3
210
Pasadena, Calif./Pasadena
WR
Jon Baldwin
Pittsburgh
Jr.
6-5
230
Aliquippa, Pa./Aliquippa
OT
Mike Ryan
Connecticut
Jr.
6-5
332
Tamaqua, Pa./Marian Catholic
OT
Jason Pinkston
Pittsburgh
Sr.
6-4
305
Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin
OG
Zach Hurd *
Connecticut
Sr.
6-7
323
Waterford, Conn./Waterford
OG
Mark Wetterer *
Louisville
Sr.
6-5
306
Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson
C
Sampson Genus
USF
Sr.
6-1
314
Lake City, Fla./Columbia
TE
Cameron Graham
Louisville
Sr.
6-4
242
Inglewood, Calif./Inglewood
QB
Zach Collaros *
Cincinnati
Jr.
6-0
216
Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville
RB
Jordan Todman *
Connecticut
Jr.
5-9
190
North Dartmouth, Mass./Dartmouth
RB
Bilal Powell
Louisville
Sr.
6-0
204
Lakeland, Fla./Lake Gibson
K
Dave Teggart
Connecticut
Jr.
6-0
209
Northborough, Mass./Algonqun
RS
Lindsey Lamar
USF
So.
5-9
160
Tampa, Fla./Hillsborough
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
DEFENSE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pos.
 
Player
 
School
 
Cl.
 
Ht.
 
Wt.
 
Hometown/High School
DL
Kendall Reyes
Connecticut
Jr.
6-4
287
Nashua, N.H./Nashua North
DL
Jabaal Sheard *
Pittsburgh
Sr.
6-4
260
Hollywood Hills, Fla./Hollywood Hills
DL
Terrell McClain
USF
Sr.
6-3
302
Pensacola, Fla./Pensacola
DL
Chris Neild
West Virginia
Sr.
6-2
301
Stroudsburg, Pa./Stroudsburg
LB
Lawrence Wilson
Connecticut
Sr.
6-1
217
Tuscaloosa, Ala./Paul W. Bryant
LB
Doug Hogue
Syracuse
Sr.
6-2
226
Yonkers, N.Y./Roosevelt
LB
J.T. Thomas
West Virginia
Sr.
6-2
225
Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Ely
CB
Johnny Patrick
Louisville
Sr.
6-0
186
Deland, Fla./Deland
CB
Keith Tandy
West Virginia
Jr.
5-10
198
Hopkinsville, Ky./Christian County
S
Dom DeCicco
Pittsburgh
Sr.
6-4
230
Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson
S
Robert Sands
West Virginia
Jr.
6-5
221
Carol City, Fla./Miami-Carol City
P
Dan Hutchins
Pittsburgh
Sr.
5-11
195
Williamsport, Pa./Loyalsock Township
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 * unanimous selection
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ALL-BIG EAST CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM
 
OFFENSE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pos.
 
Player
 
School
 
Cl.
 
Ht.
 
Wt.
 
Hometown/High School
WR
D.J. Woods
Cincinnati
Jr.
6-0
172
Strongsville, Ohio/Strongsville
WR
Dontavia Bogan
USF
Sr.
6-1
188
Thomasville, Ga./Central County
WR
Tavon Austin
West Virginia
So.
5-9
173
Baltimore, Md./Dunbar
WR
Jock Sanders
West Virginia
Sr.
5-7
179
St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg Catholic
OT
Justin Pugh
Syracuse
So.
6-5
287
Holland, Pa./Council Rock South
OT
Don Barclay
West Virginia
Jr.
6-4
304
Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley
OL
Jason Kelce
Cincinnati
Sr.
6-4
283
Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Cleveland Heights
OL
Byron Stingily
Louisville
Sr.
6-5
300
Country Club Hills, Ill./Joliet CC
OL
Jacob Sims
USF
Sr.
6-5
290
Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park
C
Moe Petrus
Connecticut
Jr.
6-2
292
St. Laurent, Que./Vanier Prep
TE
Ben Guidugli
Cincinnati
Sr.
6-1
240
Fort Thomas, Ky./Highlands
QB
Geno Smith
West Virginia
So.
6-3
210
Miami, Fla./Miramar
RB
Isaiah Pead
Cincinnati
Jr.
5-11
194
Columbus, Ohio/Eastmoor Academy
RB
Delone Carter
Syracuse
Sr.
5-10
215
Copley, Ohio/Copley Senior
K
Ross Krautman
Syracuse
Fr.
5-7
154
Franklin Lakes, N.J./Ramapo
RS
Nick Williams
Connecticut
So.
5-9
182
East Windsor, N.J./The Hun School
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
DEFENSE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pos.
 
Player
 
School
 
Cl.
 
Ht.
 
Wt.
 
Hometown/High School
DL
Brandon Lindsey
Pittsburgh
Jr.
6-2
250
Aliquippa, Pa./Aliquippa
DL
Chandler Jones
Syracuse
Jr.
6-5
251
Endicott, N.Y./Union-Endicott
DL
Scooter Berry
West Virginia
Sr.
6-1
287
North Babylon, N.Y./North Babylon
DL
Bruce Irvin
West Virginia
Jr.
6-3
235
Walnut, Calif./Mt. San Antonio CC
LB
JK Schaffer
Cincinnati
Jr.
6-1
228
Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle
LB
Jacquain Williams
USF
Sr.
6-3
216
Tampa, Fla./Riverview
LB
Derrell Smith
Syracuse
Sr.
6-1
232
New Castle, Del./Paul Hodgson
CB
Mistral Raymond
USF
Sr.
6-2
192
Palmetto, Fla./Palmetto
CB
Brandon Hogan
West Virginia
Sr.
5-10
189
Manassas, Va./Osbourn
S
Hakeem Smith
Louisville
RFr.
6-1
174
Jonesboro, Ga./Riverdale
S
Jared Holley
Pittsburgh
So.
5-10
180
Easton, Pa./Easton Area
S
Joe Lefeged
Rutgers
Sr.
6-1
205
Germantown, Md./Northwest
P
Rob Long
Syracuse
Sr.
6-3
190
Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West
 

Bilal wasn't a unanimous selection? Had to be f---ing Schiano.

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