On Monday, Athlon Sports released its 2020 American Athletic Conference All-Conference selections. The University of Central Florida took home the most selections, earning 17, while East Carolina University saw the […]
On Monday, Athlon Sports released its 2020 American Athletic Conference All-Conference selections. The University of Central Florida took home the most selections, earning 17, while East Carolina University saw the seventh-most honorees with nine.
ECU’s All-Conference Team members are as follows:
Second Team –
C.J. Johnson, WR – As a true freshman in 2019, Johnson saw action in all 12 games and quickly became his quarterback’s top option. Four times Johnson eclipsed the 100-yard plateau, including an AAC single-game record 283-yard performance against Cincinnati. In all, Johnson hauled in 54 passes for 908 and four touchdowns. That yardage mark paced the Pirates’ receiving corps, as did his 16.8 yards per catch mark (min. 10 catches).
D’Ante Smith, OL – In 2019, Smith was the only Pirate offensive lineman to start all 12 games. He did so at left tackle, marking back-to-back seasons that he started every contest as he currently leads the offensive unit with 29 career starts. Smith is entering his senior season in Greenville and figures to be the anchor up-front for the Pirates.
Jake Verity, K – Perfect on extra points in 2019, Verity went 24-for-29 on field goals. His 82.8% field goal percentage was the 32nd-best in the nation last year as his 2.0 field goals per game ranked third in the country. Entering his senior campaign, Verity is already the Pirates’ leader in career field goals made and is top-three in field goal accuracy.
Tyler Snead, KR – Last year, Snead averaged 19.2 yards per kick return, racking up 481 on 25 attempts. His 140 return yards against USF was anchored by a 100-yard kick return on the game’s opening kickoff and stood as the Pirates’ only return all season. As a freshman, Snead’s return average ranked 60th in the country.
Third Team –
Xavier Smith, LB – ECU’s leader in tackles with 81 last year, Smith figures to be a key member of the Pirates’ linebacker corps as a junior in 2020. Smith saw action in all 12 contests last year, starting all but one of them while racking up 2.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and recovery. He also chipped in four pass break-ups and four passes defensed.
Davondre Robinson, S – Right behind Smith with 71 tackles from his free safety position, Robinson also tied for the team lead with three interceptions. Standing at 6-feet tall, Robinson started all 12 games for ECU in 2019 and stood second on the team with seven passes defensed while amassing a pair of tackles for loss.
Fourth Team –
Holton Ahlers, QB – With a strong second half of the season, Ahlers finished the campaign 21st in the country with 3,387 passing yards. His 21 touchdowns also ranked inside the top-40 in the nation as the southpaw QB completed 60% of his passes in 2019. Against Cincinnati, Ahlers became the first ECU quarterback to throw for more than 500 yards in a game, a feat he backed up with a 498-yard performance against SMU a week later. In those two games, Ahlers tossed a combined 10 touchdowns versus just one interception while completing 68% of his passes.
Tyler Snead, WR – When he was not returning kicks for big gains, Snead was catching seemingly every ball thrown to him by Ahlers. His 66 catches, including 19 against SMU, paced ECU’s receiving corps in 2019, as did his five touchdowns. Snead racked up 759 receiving yards on those catches, good enough to finish second on the team. He posted back-to-back 100-yard performance against SMU and UConn late in the season.
Ja’Quan McMillian, CB – As a true freshman last year, McMillian made an instant impact. He started all 12 games for the Pirates and led the roster in passes defensed (12) and pass break-ups (nine). McMillian also tied for the team-lead with three interceptions while racking up 38 total tackles.