ECU’s Davis, Lewis earn C-USA honors

Published 6:55 pm Wednesday, July 27, 2011

IRVING, Texas –  A pair of East Carolina seniors, outside receiver Lance Lewis and cornerback Emanuel Davis, have been named to the 2011 Conference USA Football Coaches Preseason Team, according to an announcement from the league office Wednesday. The conference’s 12 head coaches voted for the preseason award winners and all-league honorees.
After earning second-team all-league accolades in 2010, Lewis and Davis have received numerous preseason honors heading into the 2011 campaign. Included in the citations are Phil Steele Magazine and Lindy’s First Team All-Conference designation, Blue Ribbon Yearbook All-C-USA and Consensus Draft Services Honorable Mention Preseason All-America.
During his first year with the Pirates, Lewis started all 13 games and finished with 89 receptions, 1,116 yards and a single-season East Carolina record 14 touchdowns after transferring from East Mississippi Community College. He finished the season ranked second in C-USA in receptions per game (6.8) and fourth in receiving yards per game (85.8), while standing 12th at the FBS level in receptions per game, 16th in total reception yards and 20th in receiving yards per game.
The Concord, N.C., native was the team’s top receiver during the second half of the season with 52 grabs for 661 yards (110.2 ypg) and seven touchdowns. In eight Conference USA contests, Lewis recorded 49 receptions for 684 yards (14.0 ypc). In the regular season finale against SMU, he set a career high with 154 receiving yards, which included a five-catch, 49-yard and two-TD performance in the fourth quarter.
Lewis ended the year on a high note, matching his personal best with 11 catches against Maryland in the Military Bowl.
Davis started all 13 games for East Carolina in 2010, booking a team seventh-best 54 tackles with 36 solo stops. He tallied three tackles for loss (four yards) and one quarterback hurry while recording nine pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a pair of interceptions. He finished tied for 11th in Conference USA with 0.85 pass breakups per game and topped the squad in tackles on passing plays with 32.
Davis intercepted Maryland’s Danny O’Brien on the first offensive play of the Military Bowl and went on to tie his season high with six tackles in the contest. The Manteo, N.C., product also booked six stops versus Memphis, Virginia Tech and North Carolina. Davis also excelled against rival N.C. State, picking off his first pass of the year in fourth quarter and tallying his first quarterback hurry of the season during the third period.
Houston senior quarterback Case Keenum, the 2009 offensive player-of-the-year who missed most of last year due to a knee injury, was picked to take home the top award again in 2011. Marshall senior defensive end Vinny Curry was tabbed as the defensive player-of-the-year. Tulsa’s senior kick and punt returner Damaris Johnson, the NCAA Division I career leader in all-purpose yards, was selected as the special teams player-of-the year. The Cougars led the way with six all-league selections while UCF had five preseason honorees.
The Pirates will open the 2011 season Saturday, Sept. 3 at 7:00 p.m. in Charlotte against Southeastern Conference member South Carolina.