Pitt freshman running back LeSean McCoy was a unanimous choice for the Big East Rookie of the Year, and senior left tackle Jeff Otah and junior middle linebacker Scott McKillop joined him as Panthers’ first-team All-Big East selections in voting announced today.
McCoy becomes the third Pitt player to earn the Big East’s Rookie of the Year award, joining receiver Larry Fitzgerald (2002) and linebacker Tom Tumulty (1991). McCoy rushed for a Big East freshman-record 1,328 yards on 276 carries, surpassing the mark of 1,261 set by Rutgers’ Terrell Willis in 1993.
McCoy averaged 110.67 yards a game to rank second in the Big East and 22nd nationally. He also set Pitt freshman records for points (90) and rushing touchdowns (14), surpassing Tony Dorsett’s 34-year-old marks (78 and 13). McCoy is the Panthers’ first 1,000-yard rusher since Kevan Barlow in 2000 and the first Pitt freshman to reach the milestone since Curvin Richards in 1988.
McKillop was a unanimous first-team pick after finishing the regular season as the nation’s leading tackler, at 12.58 per game. He ranks second nationally in solo stops (8.17) and had 151 total tackles. After serving as a reserve his first two seasons behind All-America H.B. Blades, McKillop seized the starting job this season and became the centerpiece of a defense that ranks seventh nationally in total defense (297.67 yards a game).
The 6-foot-7, 330-pound Otah was a two-year starter, making 24 consecutive starts after transferring from Valley Forge Military Academy’s junior college. He was top player on a line that paved the way for McCoy, and was recently listed 11th on Mel Kiper Jr.’s top-25 Senior “Big Board.”
Senior defensive end Joe Clermond was selected to the second team for the second consecutive year. Pitt’s defensive captain finished the season as the team’s leader in sacks (10.5) and tackles for loss (13), and tied for fourth in tackles (53). Clermond’s 0.875 sacks per game is tied for 12th nationally and third in the Big East.
West Virginia quarterback Pat White was named Big East Offensive Player of the Year, while South Florida’s George Selvie drew Defensive Player of the Year honors and Cincinnati punter Kevin Huber was named Special Teams Player of the Year. Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly was named the Big East’s Coach of the Year.