TCU sets pace on All-MWC football team

Dec. 5, 2005

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- TCU topped all league members with 18 selections to the All-Mountain West Conference football team with tailback Aaron Brown being named Freshman of the Year and Gary Patterson tabbed as Coach of the Year.

Representing the MWC champion and 14th-ranked Horned Frogs on the first team are defensive ends Tommy Blake and Chase Ortiz, cornerback Quincy Butler, offensive tackles Herbert Taylor and Michael Toudouze and return specialist Cory Rodgers. A junior from Houston, Rodgers was also honorable mention at wide receiver.

Named to the second team were cornerback Drew Coleman, center Stephen Culp, placekicker Chris Manfredini, free safety Jeremy Modkins, linebacker Jason Phillips and defensive tackle Ranorris Ray.

Phillips is the first freshman defensive player in league history to be selected to either the first or second team. He started all 11 games and tied for the TCU lead with 63 tackles.

Joining Rodgers as honorable-mention selections were Brown, quarterback Jeff Ballard, linebacker Robert Henson, tailback Robert Merrill and strong safety Marvin White.

The Frogs' 18 All-MWC selections are six more than the next-closest team (Colorado State, 12). TCU's 12 players on the first and second teams were three more than anyone else (Utah, 9).

Brown, a true freshman, gained 710 yards and posted the highest per carry average (6.1) among the MWC's top 10 rushers. He ranks 12th nationally among true freshman in rushing yards and in a tie for sixth with his three 100-yard games. A native of Katy, Texas, Brown was named the MWC Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for a season-high 163 yards on 17 carries in a nationally-televised 23-20 win versus Utah.

Brown is just the second TCU football player to be named a league Freshman of the Year. Lonta Hobbs received the honor from Conference USA in 2002.

Patterson led the Frogs, picked to finish sixth in the league's preseason poll, to just the third unbeaten season (8-0) in MWC history. It's his second conference Coach of the Year award. Patterson received the honor in 2002 from Conference USA.

Blake and Ortiz are both in their sophomore year at defensive end. While Blake is tied for the MWC lead in tackles for a loss (12.5), Ortiz is tied for the top spot in sacks (6.5).

Taylor and Toudouze have helped pave the way for the MWC's most productive scoring offense (33.7 points per game). The tackle duo has combined to allow just three sacks on the year.

Butler is tied for No. 1 in the MWC and seventh nationally with his five interceptions.

Rodgers, the only player in the country to return two kickoffs for touchdowns this season, is ranked second in the nation with his return mark of 31.7 yards. He's also the league's top punt returner with a 13.4 average. Rodgers had a team-best 48 receptions for 639 yards and five touchdowns, including a scoring reception in four of the last five regular-season contests. He also places third on the team with five rushing touchdowns.

Coleman's four interceptions and eight pass breakups have him tied for fourth in the MWC with 12 passes defended. Culp, on the Watch List for the Rimington Award as the nation's top center, totaled 48 knockdown blocks.

Manfredini is 12-of-12 on field goals and the MWC leader in kick scoring points at 8.1 per game.

Modkins, the lone senior among the TCU safeties, placed in a tie for second on the team with 62 stops while adding three interceptions. Ray, a graduate student, had 5.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

After taking over for an injured Tye Gunn, Ballard posted a 7-0 record as the Frogs' starting quarterback. He passed for at least two touchdowns in five of his eight contests while completing 59.3 percent of his passes. The junior from Friendswood, Texas, placed second on TCU with eight rushing touchdowns, representing a score every 9.6 carries. In his first collegiate start, Ballard tied LaDainian Tomlinson's school record by accounting for six touchdowns (4 rushing, 2 passing) in a 49-28 win versus New Mexico.

Henson, a redshirt freshman, recorded 62 tackles with 8.5 for a loss. Merrill topped all TCU backs with 802 yards rushing and 13 receptions. White tied for the team lead with 63 tackles while adding three interceptions.

TCU will face Iowa State Dec. 31 in the Houston Bowl. Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. at Reliant Stadium. For ticket information, visit the Frogs' web site ( or call (817) 257-FROG.



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