No fewer than six members of the 2017 Memphis Tiger football team were named first-team all-league Wednesday by the American Athletic Conference.
Senior linebacker Genard Avery
received recognition a second straight year and is the only member of the Memphis defense on the All-AAC team. Senior wide receiver Anthony Miller
— now the holder of virtually every receiving record in the Memphis book — earned first-team honors after being named second-team All-AAC as a junior. Senior quarterback Riley Ferguson
was named first-team, somewhat oddly, along with UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton (who was named the league's Offensive Player of the Year). Ferguson has thrown 32 touchdown passes this season, matching his program record of a year ago. Ferguson and Milton will face each other this Saturday when the Tigers and Knights play for the AAC title in Orlando.
Two members of the Tiger offensive line — senior guard Gabe Kuhn
and junior tackle Trevon Tate
— earned first-team honors. The Memphis offensive line has allowed only 11 sacks all season (sixth-fewest in the country) and is a big reason the Tigers rank second in the country (behind UCF) in scoring with an average of 47 points per game.
In a predictable vote, sophomore kick returner Tony Pollard
was named the league's Special Teams Player of the Year (along with first-team All-AAC honors). Pollard returned four kickoffs for touchdowns this season and has six in his two-year career, just one shy of the FBS record.
Freshman cornerback T.J. Carter
was named the AAC's Rookie of the Year. He leads Memphis with four interceptions.
The 16th-ranked Tigers (10-1) play 12th-ranked UCF (11-0) Saturday in the AAC championship. The game will be played in Orlando and kick off at 11 a.m. locally. ABC will broadcast the game nationally.