All-Big East teams named
In addition to winning the Big East football title this season, West Virginia also can claim to the league’s top newcomer and coach.
Wednesday, tailback Steve Slaton was named Big East rookie of the year and Rich Rodriguez was chosen coach of the year. Slaton was among 12 Mountaineers selected to the All-Big East first and second teams.
Pitt placed four players on the all-conference first team and four on the second team. Among the picks was linebacker H.B. Blades, who led the league with 121 tackles during the regular season.
A pair of Louisville standouts — sophomore quarterback Brian Brohm and senior defensive end Elvis Dumervil — were named offensive and defensive players of the year.
The selections were made by the league’s coaches, who were not permitted to vote for their own players.
Blades, a junior, earned first-team status for the second year in a row. Joining him on the first team were receiver Greg Lee and cornerbacks Josh Lay and Darrelle Revis.
Pitt quarterback Tyler Palko, kicker Josh Cummings, safety Tez Morris and offensive tackle Charles Spencer were second-team picks.
Slaton is third in the conference in rushing, averaging 102.7 yards per game. He scored 14 rushing touchdowns, second in the league to Louisville’s Michael Bush (23), despite not making his first start until Oct. 8.
A half-dozen WVU players made the cut for All-Big East first team: offensive tackle Garin Justice, center Dan Mozes, defensive lineman Ernest Hunter, linebacker Kevin McLee, and safeties Jahmile Addae and Mike Lorello.
Slaton was named to the All-Big East second team, along with guard Jeremy Sheffey, kick returner Antonio Lewis, cornerback Anthony Mims, safety Eric Wicks and punter Phil Bradley.
This was the second time Rodriguez has tabbed Big East coach of the year. He also received the honor in 2003.
This season, West Virginia went 10-1 overall, including a 45-13 thrashing of Pitt in the Backyard Brawl, and was unbeaten in league play for the first time since 1993. The Mountaineers will face Georgia (10-2) on Jan. 2 in the Sugar Bowl.