Eleven Frogs named All-MWC
Dec. 4, 2007
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Led by defensive end Chase Ortiz and return specialist Brian Bonner as first-team selections, 11 TCU football players have been named All-Mountain West Conference.
Linebacker Jason Phillips, center Blake Schlueter and safeties Stephen Hodge and David Roach were second-team picks. Linebacker Robert Henson, placekicker Chris Manfredini, offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse, cornerback Rafael Priest and punter Derek Wash were named honorable-mention All-MWC.
TCU's 11 total selections tie BYU for third-most in the league. Utah led the way with 14, while New Mexico had 12.
Ortiz is the first TCU player to be a three-time first-team all-conference selection since wide receiver Mike Renfro from 1975-77 in the Southwest Conference.
Ortiz is also the fourth defensive player in MWC history and seventh overall to be a three-time first-team selection.
A senior from League City, Texas, Ortiz ranks among the MWC and national leaders with eight sacks, 15.5 tackles for a loss and three forced fumbles. He appeared on the final watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award, honoring the nation's top defensive end. Ortiz was the MWC Defensive Player of the Week when he recorded three tackles for a loss, including two sacks, while forcing two fumbles and recovering one in a 34-10 win over UNLV.
Bonner, who ranks 18th nationally with a 12.4 punt return average, is the first-team return specialist for the second straight season. With 470 punt return yards, he is 80 yards shy of breaking TCU's single-season record.
Phillips, Henson and Manfredini received All-MWC recognition for the third straight season. Schlueter is a second-time honoree. Hodge, Newhouse, Priest, Roach and Wash are first-time all-conference picks.
In 2005, Phillips was a second-team selection to become the first freshman defensive player in MWC history to be named all-conference. He was a first-team selection last season. Phillips tops the Frogs with a career-high 77 tackles. The junior from Waller, Texas, is second on the team with nine stops for a loss. Phillips earned MWC Defensive Player of the Week honors after totaling a career-best 13 tackles as TCU closed the regular season with a 45-33 victory at San Diego State.
Hodge tops all MWC defensive backs while tying for fourth in the league with seven sacks, including six in the last six games. The junior from Tatum, Texas, has 53 tackles on the year. He was the MWC Defensive Player of the Week in a 37-0 win over New Mexico. Hodge has taken part in both defensive and special teams touchdowns this season.
A graduate student from Abilene, Texas, Roach places third on TCU with a career-best 73 tackles while starting all 12 games. Prior to the Frogs going 3-1 in November to earn their ninth bowl trip in the last 10 seasons, Roach was moved from weak safety to free safety. He has five pass break-ups, two forced fumbles and an interception.
Schlueter, an honorable-mention selection last season, places second on the Frogs with 54 knockdown blocks and an overall 86 percent blocking grade. TCU ranks second in the MWC in first downs (269) and third in total offense (388.4 yards per game).
Henson is an honorable-mention selection for the third straight season. He is among the TCU leaders with 62 tackles. It's his third straight year with at least 60 stops. The junior from Longview, Texas, also has two interceptions. He became the first TCU linebacker to return a pick for a touchdown since 1995 when he scored on a 58-yard return against SMU.
Manfredini has made 10 straight field goals and is 20-of-25 on the season. The 20 field goals rank as the fourth-best single-season total in TCU history. He has converted all 35 of his extra-point attempts. A graduate student from Colleyville, Texas, Manfredini was a second-team All-MWC selection in 2005 and an honorable-mention pick last season.
Newhouse has started all 12 games. He tops TCU with 60 knockdown blocks and a 91 percent blocking grade. The sophomore and Dallas native was the only true freshman to see action on offense last season.
Priest, a sophomore from Dallas, ranks third in the MWC with 13 passes defended (10 break-ups, three interceptions). The three picks tie him for the team lead. Priest has started all 25 games the last two seasons.
A member of the Ray Guy Award Watch List, Wash has ranked among the national leaders in average throughout the year. His 43.2 mark is fourth-best for a single season at TCU. The senior from Arlington, Texas, placed 21-of-57 punts inside the opponent 20-yard line with just six touchbacks. The Frogs ranked 13th nationally in net punting at 37.9 yards and allowed just 5.8 yards per return.