Indicative of FAU’s 1-11 season, the Owls placed just one player on the Sun Belt All-Conference teams released Wednesday.
Senior running back Alfred Morris was named to the second team offense. Morris was second in the conference in rushing, averaging 98.8 yards per game. He leaves as FAU’s career rushing leader with 3,529 yards.
Arkansas State quarterback Ryan Aplin was named the Player of the Year after leading the Red Wolves to a 10-2 record and Sun Belt title. Western Kentucky running back Bobby Rainey was the Offensive Player of the Year for the second straight season and Arkansas State defensive lineman Brandon Joiner was the Defensive Player of the Year.
FAU senior offensive lineman Sam McRoy and sophomore linebacker Randell Johnson were honorable mentions.
This is the second straight year that FAU has failed to have a player on the first team
-- When his hiring was announced Monday, FAU coach Carl Pelini’s $450,000 base salary was fourth highest in the Sun Belt. Two days later Pelini is now sixth, as Western Kentucky gave Willie Taggart a bump from $225,000 to $475,000 and Louisiana-Lafayette promised to make Mark Hudspeth the highest paid coach in the Sun Belt. The Ragin’ Cajuns have not released details, but Rick Stockstill of Middle Tennessee is currently the highest paid at $589,000.
-- When Arkansas State’s Hugh Freeze was named coach of Mississippi on Monday, he got a raise of nearly $1.3 million. Freeze had been the lowest paid coach in the conference at $202,000 and is getting $1.5 million at Ole Miss. Freeze was also the first Sun Belt coach to be hired away for a better job. All the others who left had been fired for forced to resign.
-- Ted Hutton