CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After recording its best football season in its nine years in Conference USA, it only makes sense that Marshall would have its largest representation on the all-conference teams.
And so it is, as the Thundering Herd placed four players on the first team, five on the second unit and seven on honorable mention. The total of 16 sets a new high in the school's nine years in C-USA.
The Herd also had five all-freshman selections, another school best in its current league.
The teams were selected by the league's 14 head coaches. C-USA champion Rice led the league with 10 players on the first and second units.
Wide receiver Tommy Shuler, the Herd's first player with 80 or more receptions in two different seasons, becomes a two-time first-team pick. He joins Doug Legursky, Albert McClellan, Mario Harvey and Vinny Curry in that feat.
The other first-teamers are center Chris Jasperse, tight end Gator Hoskins and defensive tackle James Rouse. Jasperse is the iron man of the offensive front, Hoskins has 13 touchdowns among his 44 catches and Rouse led the team in tackles for loss (12) and sacks (four).
On the second unit, quarterback Rakeem Cato slipped a rung from last year, falling behind East Carolina's Shane Carden. Joining Cato are two offensive linemen, Beckley native Clint Van Horn and Garrett Scott, linebacker Jermaine Holmes and Devon "Moo Moo" Smith as a punt returner.
The honorable mention picks are 1,000-yard running back Essray Taliaferro, defensive ends Alex Bazzie and Ra'Shawde Myers, linebacker Evan McKelvey and cornerbacks Monterius Lovett, Darryl Roberts and Corey Tindal. Tindal served as the Herd's nickel back when MU was in the 4-2-5 alignment.
Tindal also was on the all-freshman team, along with safety A.J. Leggett, linebacker Stefan Houston, defensive end Gary Thompson and reserve offensive lineman Michael Selby.
The league's individual awards will be announced today. Marshall plays Maryland in the Military Bowl, Dec. 26 in Annapolis, Md.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.