Blazers Land Two On All-Conference USA First Team
Dec. 4, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- Sophomore running back Darrin Reaves and senior offensive lineman Chris Hubbard, along with senior linebacker Marvin Burdette, were named to 2012 All-Conference USA football teams, the league office announced Tuesday.
Reaves, who rushed for 1,037 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, became the Blazers' only first-team, all-conference running back selection in school history, and the first all-league running back pick overall since the 2004 season (Dan Burks was named third team).
Reaves registered the highest rushing total (223) in a game in the league this season, posting that number against Southern Miss (Nov. 3). In a three-game stretch vs. Tulane, Southern Miss and Marshall, Reaves averaged 191 yards per game, while his rushing touchdown total (13) established a new UAB single-season record. He also had 41 receptions (302 yards) in 2012.
Hubbard, the anchor of the Blazers' offensive line, picked up his first postseason all-conference honor after being named as a 2012 preseason all-league lineman last summer. He was an honorable mention choice last season. This is the fourth consecutive year that UAB has had a first-team offensive lineman selection.
Named to the league's second team, Burdette led Conference USA and ranked No. 2 nationally in tackles at 13.08 per game. The 5-11, 230-pound product of Batesville, Miss. set UAB records for tackles in a career (406) and a season (157). His 24 tackles vs. Tulane are also a Blazer single-game record. Burdette finished the season with 13 tackles for loss and returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown against Southeastern Louisiana (Oct. 6).
Brown, a redshirt freshman, passed for 2,673 yards and 15 touchdowns in eight starts this season. He ranked No. 6 overall among Conference USA quarterbacks in passing yards per game at 222.8. His season yardage total is the sixth-highest in UAB history. He also passed for 300-plus yards in four contests, including a season-best 409 against Tulane for the eighth-best single-game total on the Blazer all-time charts.
Blankenship, a true freshman, made a strong impact in his first season at UAB, starting the final nine games of the season at offensive guard.
The Blazers also had six players named as honorable mention All-Conference USA selections: tight end Kennard Backman, wide receiver Jackie Williams, safety Calvin Jones, kicker Ty Long, punter Hunter Mullins and long snapper Taylor Klein.
Backman finished with 23 receptions for 235 yards and four touchdowns while Williams led the team in catches (52) and receiving yards (799) with one touchdown reception. Williams, who also earned honorable mention honors in 2011, has caught at least one pass in every game he has played at UAB, a streak of 35 consecutive games (ninth-longest in the country).
Jones started nine games at safety for the Blazers and finished the season as the team's third-leading tackler with 71 stops, including 39 solo hits.
Long had his second straight outstanding season as he connected on 14-of-17 field goals, including the two-longest three-pointers in UAB history (54 yards vs. Ohio State and 53 vs. Southeastern Louisiana). In two seasons, Long has converted 30-of-36 field goals. His 83.3 percent accuracy mark ranks as the best in the Blazer record book. In addition, Long is already tied for fourth all-time at UAB in most field goals.
Mullins set a UAB record for the best punting average (44.8) in a season and ranks No. 13 in the nation in average. The sophomore had 14 punts inside the opponent 20-yard line and also had 12 of 50 yards or more.
Klein, a senior in 2012, finished his career having been the Blazers' regular long snapper for 48 consecutive games. He was a C-USA All-Freshman Team selection in 2009. Last week, Klein was tabbed to the conference's All-Academic Team.