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Big East awards include Bulls

The Big East Conference announced its postseason awards Wednesday, naming Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm and defensive end Elvis Dumervil the Big East Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.

No. 11 West Virginia’s freshman running back Steve Slaton was named Big East Rookie of the Year, while his coach, Rich Rodriguez, was named Coach of the Year.

Rutgers return specialist Willie Foster rounded out the awards, nabbing Big East Special Teams Player of the Year.

Brohm, who recently underwent season-ending knee surgery and will not participate in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2, completed 207-of-301 passes for 2,883 yards, had 19 touchdowns and five interceptions, all the while being ranked second in the nation in passing efficiency.

Dumervil, who also won the 2005 Bronko Nagurski Trophy for Best Defensive Player of the Year, led the nation with 20 sacks and 10 forced fumbles.Slaton, whose first game wasn’t until Oct. 8 against Rutgers, finished the season with 924 yards rushing and 16 total touchdowns.

Rodriguez, who won the award the second time in his five years as coach, led his team to an undefeated record in the Big East (7-0) and a BCS Sugar Bowl berth against No. 8 Georgia.

Foster returned 15 punts for 164 yards and a touchdown and 27 kickoffs for 633 yards and a score.

The Bulls didn’t come away empty handed, but it was running back Andre Hall, who was recently invited to the Hula Bowl – an all-star game showcasing the nation’s top seniors – as the only USF player named to the All-Big East first team.

Hall led the team in both rushing and receiving and scoring, compiling 1,579 total yards and 15 total touchdowns.

Offensive linemen Thed Watson, Frank Davis and John Miller were named to All-Big East second team, while Terrence Royal, Mike Jenkins, Johnnie Jones and Stephen Nicholas were named to the All-Big East second team on defense.Jones, a senior, finished the season with 52 tackles and two interceptions. Jenkins, a sophomore, had 36 tackles and two interceptions. Royal, also a senior, finished with 41 tackles, tied for the team lead with seven sacks, an interception and three forced and recovered fumbles. Nicholas, a junior who may leave for the NFL draft, had 69 tackles, seven sacks, three passes defended and two forced fumbles.