July 17, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- UAB junior running back Darrin Reaves was named to the 2013 Preseason All-Conference USA first team Wednesday in a vote of the league's head coaches.
The conference announced the preseason individual honors that included the preseason Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Year. In addition, the predicted order of finish for C-USA's East and Divisions was announced.
Reaves, who was a first-team selection following his outstanding 2012 season, will enter the upcoming campaign as the only running back in the nation who rushed for more than 1,000 yards and recorded 40-plus receptions last fall.
The product of Clay-Chalkville High in metro-Birmingham finished last season with 1,037 rushing yards to become only the fourth UAB player -- and third running back -- in school history to eclipse 1,000 or more yards on the ground.
He averaged 125 rushing yards in the final six games of the year. His strong finish to the 2012 season included a sensational three-game stretch when he ran for a combined 573 yards in consecutive games against Tulane, Southern Miss and Marshall. Reaves rushed for 223 yards (second-most in Blazer history and the most in Conference USA last season) in the win over Southern Miss.
Reaves finished with 13 rushing touchdowns. Nine of those came in the final six games of the season.
Reaves also proved his effectiveness as a receiver out of the backfield as he had 41 receptions for 302 yards.
Reaves and East Carolina senior Vintavious Cooper were chosen as the two first-team preseason all-conference running backs.
The preseason Offensive Player of the Year is Marshall junior quarterback Rakeem Cato while Rice senior defensive back Phillip Gaines was selected for the Defensive Player of the Year. Tulane senior kicker Cairo Santos, winner of the 2012 Lou Groza Award, was named the preseason Special Teams Player of the Year.
2013 Conference USA Football Coaches Preseason Awards
Offensive Player of the Year
Rakeem Cato, Jr., QB, Marshall
Defensive Player of the Year
Phillip Gaines, Sr., DB, Rice
Special Teams Player of the Year
Cairo Santos, Sr., K, Tulane
First Team Offense
QB - Rakeem Cato, Jr., Marshall
RB - Vintavious Cooper, Sr., East Carolina
RB - Darrin Reaves, Jr., UAB
OL - Jake Alexander, Jr., Tulsa
OL Stetson Burnett, Sr., Tulsa
OL Scott Inskeep, Jr., UTSA
OL Nate Richards, Sr., Rice
OL Matt Shepperd, Jr., Louisiana Tech
OL Will Simmons, Sr., East Carolina
WR Justin Hardy, Jr., East Carolina
WR Ryan Grant, Sr., Tulane
WR Tommy Shuler, Jr., Marshall
TE Gator Hoskins, Sr., Marshall
First Team Defense
DL - Christian Covington, So., Rice
DL - Justin Ellis, Sr., Louisiana Tech
DL - Greg Hickman, Sr., FIU
DL - Rakeem Nunez-Roches, DL, Southern Miss
LB - Shawn Jackson, Sr., Tulsa
LB - Derrell Johnson, Sr., East Carolina
LB - Andre Kirk, Jr., Florida Atlantic
DB - Kevin Byard, So., Middle Tennessee
DB - Lorenzo Doss, So., Tulane
DB - Phillip Gaines, Sr., Rice
DB - Marco Nelson, Sr., Tulsa
First Team Special Teams
K - Cairo Santos, K, Tulane
P - Tyler Williams, P, Marshall
KR - Reggie Whatley, Jr., Middle Tennessee
PR - Trey Watts, Sr., Tulsa
Predicted Order Of Finish
EAST DIVISION - Pts
1. East Carolina (11) - 95
2. Marshall (2) - 82
3. Middle Tennessee (1) - 70
4. UAB - 54
5. Southern Miss - 40
6. Florida Atlantic - 28
7. FIU - 23
WEST DIVISION - Pts
1. Tulsa (14) - 98
2. Rice - 76
3. Louisiana Tech - 72
4. UTEP - 46
5. North Texas - 49
6. Tulane - 31
7. UTSA - 30
(first place votes in parentheses)