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December 8, 2010Conference USA announced its 2010 Players of the Year today, which were selected by the league's 12 head football coaches. Tulsa was well represented, as quarterback G.J. Kinne was named Offensive Player of the Year and Damaris Johnson earned Special Teams Player of the Year.
Kinne's accolade marks the 11th time in the last 13 years that a quarterback has won the award. He ranks first in C-USA for total offense (322 ypg) and second for pass efficiency (141.8) and passing yards per game (275.6 ypg).
Kinne has led Tulsa to the No. 1 ranking in C-USA in rushing offense, scoring offense and total offense. He has five 300+ yard passing games and one 400+ yard game this year. Kinne has completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,307 yards and 28 TDs, and has rushed for 557 yards and 7 TDs.
The Special Teams Player of the Year award went to Tulsa junior kick returner/punt returner Damaris Johnson. He leads the nation for the second straight year in all-purpose yards with a 191.8-yard per game average.
Johnson has five 200+ all-purpose yard games and has 39 plays for over 20+ yards this year. He became the FBS and C-USA record-holder for career kickoff return yards in only his junior year and he currently has 3,308 career KOR yards. In 2010, many opponents have kicked away from Johnson, as he has returned only 29 kicks on 67 kickoffs. He has produced 795 yards, one TD and a 27.4-yard average on those 29 returns.
Johnson currently ranks 24th in the FBS for kickoff return yards and 19th for punt returns this season. He also has a team-leading 771 receiving yards and three TDs, while rushing for 462 yards, a 9.2 average and 6 TDs. Johnson earned first team all-conference honors as a punt returner and second team recognition as a wide receiver and a kick returner.
East Carolina senior Dwayne Harris was named the recipient of the Conference USA Most Valuable Player Award. The 2009 Special Teams Player of the Year has set ECU single-season records with 1,055 receiving yards and 93 receptions, becoming just the second Pirate to ever record over 1,000 receiving yards in a year. Harris' all-purpose yardage average of 171.0 per game ranks third in the league and fifth among all FBS players.
Defensive recognition went to UCF senior DE Bruce Miller, who becomes the first C-USA player to win that honor in back-to-back years since Adalius Thomas of Southern Miss in 1998-99. He owns the UCF career record for sacks with 34.0, a figure that is tied for third in C-USA history.
The league's Freshman of the Year honor went to UCF QB Jeff Godfrey. He is 9-2 as a starter since taking over the Knights quarterback reigns on Sept. 18, completing 68.4 percent of his passes, tops among all FBS quarterbacks.
Junior QB Dominique Davis of East Carolina garnered the league's Newcomer of the Year award. He has established East Carolina single-season records in touchdown passes (36), attempts (552), completions (358) and passing yards (3,699) this fall. The 36 TD passes are tied for the sixth-most in a year by a Conference USA quarterback, while his attempts and completions this season are the second and third most, respectively, by a C-USA signal-caller.