Selvie named top defender in the Big East

After missing out on two national awards, defensive end George Selvie was honored by his conference.

Passed over for the Ted Hendricaks Award (nation’s top defensive end) and the Bronko Nagurski Award (nation’s top defender), the sophomore was instead honored as the Big East Defensive Player of the Year.

“How about that? Isn’t that neat? It’s great for George,” coach Jim Leavitt said. “I think George would tell you that when he wins an award, the University of South Florida wins an award.”

Selvie leads the nation in tackles for a loss (31.5) and ranks second in sacks (14.5), but Virginia senior Chris Long won the Hendricks award and defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey, a Louisiana State senior, captured the Nagurski.

West Virginia’s quarterback, junior Pat White, was honored as the Big East Offensive Player of the Year, and Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly was named the conference’s Coach of the Year.

The 6-foot-4-inch, 242-pound Selvie was one of three Bulls named to the All-Big East First Team, along with linebacker Ben Moffitt and cornerback Mike Jenkins.

Cornerback Trae Williams, guard Ryan Schmidt and linebacker Tyrone McKenzie were named to the all-league second team.

With the success of the Bulls, ranked No. 21 to finish the regular season, the coaching staff has drawn interest from around the country.

First-year defensive line coach Dan McCarney interviewed for the head coaching vacancy at Northern Illinois.

McCarney spent the previous 12 seasons at the helm in Iowa State, where he led the Cyclones to five bowl game appearances and was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2004.

If McCarney leaves, Leavitt will be seeking his fourth defensive line coach in as many years.