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December 17, 2009

Rivals.com 2009 All-Big East freshman team

Syracuse led the Big East with five selections on the Rivals.com freshman all-league team, highlighted by Shamarko Thomas, our pick as first-year defensive player of the year after starting at linebacker, strong safety and cornerback for a much-improved Orange defense.

Pittsburgh running back Dion Lewis, the nation's No. 3 rusher and a Rivals.com second-team All-America selection, was named the league's offensive freshman of the year.

Connecticut had four players make our all-freshman team, followed by Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and USF with three picks apiece. Louisville and West Virginia each had two players make the team.

QB B.J. Daniels, USF
Particulars: 6-1/210, redshirt freshman
High school: Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln
RB Darius Ashley, Louisville
Particulars: 5-8/185, redshirt freshman
High school: Cincinnati St. Xavier
RB Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh
Particulars: 5-8/195, true freshman
High school: Blairstown (N.J.) Blair Academy
WR Alec Lemon, Syracuse
Particulars: 6-2/193, true freshman
High school: Gambrills (Md.) Arundel
WR Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers
Particulars: 6-2/215, true freshman
High school: South Brunswick (N.J.) High
TE Ryan Griffin, Connecticut
Particulars: 6-6/240, redshirt freshman
High school: Londonderry (N.H.) High
T Nick Speller, Syracuse
Particulars: 6-5/299, redshirt freshman
High school: Baltimore Edmonson-Westside
T Mark Popek, USF
Particulars: 6-7/305, redshirt freshman
High school: Plant City (Fla.) High
G Erik Kuraczea, Connecticut
Particulars: 6-2/333, redshirt freshman
High school: Ansonia (Conn.) High
G Joe Madsen, West Virginia
Particulars: 6-4/291, redshirt freshman
High school: Chardon (Ohio) High
C Mario Benavides, Louisville
Particulars: 6-4/290, redshirt freshman
High school: Los Fresno (Texas) High
K Tyler Bitancurt, West Virginia
Particulars: 6-1/180, redshirt freshman
High school: Springfield (Va.) West Springfield
The team is lacking a punter. No first-year players stood out at the position.
E Chandler Jones, Syracuse
Particulars: 6-5/246, redshirt freshman
High school: Endicott (N.Y.) Union-Endicott
T Brandon Mills, Cincinnati
Particulars: 5-10/266, redshirt freshman
High school: Cincinnati Colerain
T Scott Vallone, Rutgers
Particulars: 6-3/270, redshirt freshman
High school: Central Islip (N.Y.) St. Anthony's
E Jesse Joseph, Connecticut
Particulars: 6-3/238, true freshman
High school: Laval (Quebec) Vanier Prep
LB E.J. Carter, Syracuse
Particulars: 6-0/222, true freshman
High school: Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips
LB Walter Stewart, Cincinnati
Particulars: 6-5/226, redshirt freshman
High school: Ashville (Ohio) Teays Valley
LB Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse
Particulars: 5-10/196, true freshman
High school: Virginia Beach (Va.) Ocean Lakes
CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Connecticut
Particulars: 6-0/180, redshirt freshman
High school: Edinboro (Pa.) General McLane
Particulars: 5-11/184, true freshman
High school: Miami Pace
FS Jarred Holley, Pittsburgh
Particulars: 5-10/175, redshirt freshman
High school: Easton (Pa.) Easton Area
SS Drew Frey, Cincinnati
Particulars: 6-4/205, redshirt freshman
High school: Wilmington (Ohio) Clinton-Massie
KR Cameron Saddler, Pittsburgh
Particulars: 5-7/170, redshirt freshman
High school: Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway
PR Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers
Particulars: 6-2/215, true freshman
High school: South Brunswick (N.J.) High

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com.

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