ECU’s Wilson earns more accolades

Published 5:37 pm Tuesday, December 23, 2008

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — The awards continue to trickle in for C.J. Wilson.
The East Carolina junior defensive end, a former star at Northside High School, added to his total Monday when the released its 2008 All-CUSA Team.
Wilson was named to the First Team at defensive end. He was joined on the First Team by fellow Pirates Pierre Bell at linebacker and Van Eskridge at defensive back.
The site listed Wilson as the second best defensive lineman in the conference, trailing only Houston defensive end Phillip Hunt. The site named Hunt its Defensive Player of the Year.
Wilson was listed as the conference’s 12th best player, regardless of position. He was the fourth overall defensive player on the list.
Rice quarterback Chase Clement, tabbed the site’s Offensive Player of the Year, was tops on the list.
It was the latest in a handful of awards for Wilson, who wears No. 95 for the purple and gold.
He was named the C-USA Defensive Most Valuable Player by Sporting News Magazine. Wilson also earned C-USA First Team honors by league coaches and by Phil Steele Magazine.
The 6-4, 270-pound Wilson leads the Pirates with 10.5 sacks (for 61 yards in loss) and 18.5 tackles-for-loss (for 84 yards). He also has 64 tackles, five quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and one blocked kick.
He ranks among the NCAA active leaders in assisted sacks (8th), assisted TFLs (12th), total sacks (12th), total sacks per game (12th) and solo sacks (20th).
Wilson, who helped the Pirates win the C-USA championship with a win over Tulane in the championship game, is on break with the rest of his teammates. They’ll hit the field again Friday in preparation for the Jan. 2 Liberty Bowl. The Pirates (9-4) will take on Kentucky (6-6) in Memphis.
Wilson can set a new single-season record with a big game against the Wildcats in the Liberty Bowl. If he records three tackles-for-loss, Wilson will surpass Chris Moore (21 tackles-for-loss in 2004) in that category.
Wilson, who was named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team two years ago and earned C-USA Second Team honors last year, has flirted with the sack record as well. Roderick Coleman set the single-season record with 15 sacks in 1997.
Coleman holds the career-sack record with 39 (1995-98), while Moore owns the career tackles-for-loss mark with 61 (2002-05).
Wilson has 35 tackles-for-loss and 21.5 sacks in his career. He also has 127.5 tackles and 21 quarterback hurries in his career.
The Liberty Bowl will kick off at 5 p.m. and air on ESPN.