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December 17, 2009
Syracuse led the Big East with five selections on the Rivals.com freshman all-league team, highlighted by Shamarko Thomas, our pick as first-year defensive player of the year after starting at linebacker, strong safety and cornerback for a much-improved Orange defense.
Pittsburgh running back Dion Lewis, the nation's No. 3 rusher and a Rivals.com second-team All-America selection, was named the league's offensive freshman of the year.
David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.