Dec. 10, 2008
Senior linebacker Scott McKillop has been named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year, in a vote of league coaches, and is joined by six of his teammates on the All-Big East team.
Pitt has five representatives on the first team including unanimous selections McKillop (Export, Pa./Kiski Area) and sophomore running back LeSean McCoy, senior offensive guard/center C.J. Davis, junior tight end Nate Byham and senior placekicker Conor Lee.
McKillop, who has firmly established himself as one of the nation’s finest defenders, is just the second Pitt player to earn the defensive honor as H.B Blades was the first in 2006. The senior linebacker enters the Sun Bowl leading the Big East and ranking second nationally in solo stops (6.50 per game), 11th in total tackles (10.50 per game) and 20th in tackles for loss (1.38 per game).
McCoy (Harrisburg, Pa./Milford Academy), a unanimous selection, earns his second All-Big East first team honor as the true sophomore leads the nation in scoring (10.50 points per game) and is the 10th-leading rusher (116.92). McCoy’s 1,403 rushing yards this season makes him just the third player in Pitt history to reach the 1,000-yard milestone twice in a career. He is also just two rushing touchdowns from breaking the single-season record of 22, and is three from breaking the season record for total touchdowns (23).
Davis (Imperial, Pa./West Allegheny) played seven games for the Panthers at left guard before moving to center to fill in for Robb Houser, who was lost for the season due to injury. The transition was seamless as the veteran has made 42 consecutive starts on the offensive line in his four seasons and has helped lead McCoy to back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Byham (Franklin, Pa./Franklin) has developed into a versatile tight end and has consistently shown big-play capability including a 28-yard touchdown reception in Pitt’s win at Connecticut. The junior has totaled 18 receptions for 250 yards this season and holds a career average of 14.1 yards per catch.
Lee (Upper St. Clair, Pa./Fork Union) ranks fifth nationally in field goals per game (1.67) and leads the league in field goals, field goals per game, field goal percentage (20-23, 87.0%) and is third overall in the Big East in scoring. Lee has never missed a point after touchdown, converting a school-record 113 consecutive. The number is also just three from tying the all-time Big East record for consecutive PATs made in a career.
Romeus (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Glades) leads the team in sacks with 5.5 on the year and has helped the Panthers block a school-record 10 kicks, including his three PAT blocks this season. The sophomore has totaled 13.5 tackles for loss and 47 total tackles in 12 games this season.
Berry (Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt) leads the Panthers in pass break ups this season with seven and has added two interceptions, including a 52-yard interception return at Connecticut. The junior also blocked a USF field goal in Pitt’s victory on the road against the No. 10-ranked Bulls.
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