Wilson named to All-UCA Second Team defense
By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — Three days after finding out he’d be flying to Hawaii to play in a bowl game, C.J. Wilson received another early Christmas present Tuesday.
Wilson, a sophomore defensive end for the East Carolina Pirates, was named to the 2007 Coaches All-Conference USA Second Team.
It’s the second honor in two years for Wilson after he was named to the All-C-USA Freshman Team last year.
Wilson has posted career numbers this season. Heading into the Dec. 23 Hawai Bowl against Boise State, Wilson leads the team with six quarterback sacks totaling 42 yards in loss and 12 quarterback hurries.
The former standout at Northside High School has 35 tackles, including 9.5 for loss. The 6-4, 269-pounder also has a forced fumble, blocked field goal and blocked PAT to his credit.
Wilson had 29 tackles, a team-high four sacks and four QB hurries a year ago.
Wilson is looking for more next year.
Wilson has some company on the All-C-USA Team.
Senior Chris Johnson was named to the First Team as a kick returner and to the Second Team as a running back. Senior offensive lineman Josh Coffman was also placed on the Second Team offense, while Wilson was joined on the Second Team defense by sophomore defensive back Van Eskridge and junior defensive end Zack Slate.
Johnson, who returned one kickoff for a touchdown this season, averages 28.5 yards per kick return. He’s rushed for 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns, along with 34 catches for 496 yards and five scores.
Eskridge leads the Pirates with 96 tackles. He also has one fumble recovery and one interception.
Slate has come up with 48 tackles, including a team-high 11.5 for loss, and 4.5 sacks. He has three QB hurries and two forced fumbles.
Meanwhile, the 11 Pirates who earned honorable mention were senior running back Jay Sonnhalter, sophomore offensive lineman Matt Butler, sophomore offensive lineman Doug Palmer, junior tight end Davon Drew, sophomore wide receiver Jamar Bryant, junior defensive lineman Khalif Mitchell, sophomore defensive lineman Jay Ross, junior linebacker Pierre Bell, senior linebacker Fred Wilson, senior defensive back Travis Williams and junior long snapper Wilson Raynor.
Four other ECU football players were named to the 2007 Coaches All-Freshman team.
Leading the way for the Pirates was return man Dwayne Harris, who tallied 245 punt return yards on 29 attempts. He also returned kicks and has totaled 731 all-purpose yards this season.
Joining Harris are offensive lineman D.J. Scott, defensive lineman Linval Joseph and defensive back Travis Simmons.