Dec. 16, 2009
PITTSBURGH—University of Pittsburgh freshman tailback Dion Lewis’ status as the top newcomer in college football continues to be solidified with his growing list of honors.
Lewis added another accolade today when he was named the National Freshman of the Year by Sporting News.
It is the third such honor for Lewis (Albany, N.Y./Blair Academy [N.J.]), who previously was named the Freshman of the Year by CBSSports.com and the Offensive Freshman of the Year by CollegeFootballNews.com.
Lewis enters the postseason ranked third nationally in rushing (136.67 yards/game) and first in the Big East. On the year he has rushed for 1,640 yards on 297 carries (5.5 avg.) and scored 17 total touchdowns.
He saved one of his most impressive performances for the final game of the regular season when he had an incredible 47 carries for 194 yards and three touchdowns. It marked his ninth game this season, and seventh consecutive, in which he rushed for more than 100 yards.
The most prolific freshman rusher in Big East history, Lewis was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, becoming the first player since Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick in 1999 to earn both of those honors in the same season.
Lewis is also on the verge of becoming the most productive freshman back in Pitt history. With 102 points, he has already established a new Pitt freshman scoring record, eclipsing LeSean McCoy’s 90 points in 2007.
Lewis now has in his sights the 36-year-old Pitt freshman rushing record of 1,686 yards set by the legendary Tony Dorsett in 1973. He needs just 47 yards in his final game to surpass that mark.
Yesterday, it was announced that Lewis was the only true freshman named to The Associated Press All-America Team. He was a second-team All-America selection by the AP as well as by Sporting News, CBSSports.com, SI.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Ranked as high as No. 16 nationally, Pitt (9-3) will conclude its season against North Carolina (8-4) in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday, Dec. 26, at Bank of America Stadium. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN and kick off at 4:30 p.m. For ticket information, go to www.PittsburghPanthers.com.
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