Eight Charlotte 49ers have earned 2018 all-Conference USA honors. RS-junior defensive end Alex Highsmith grabbed first team all-C-USA honors, while junior running back Benny LeMay, redshirt senior offensive lineman Nate Davis, redshirt senior linebacker Juwan Foggie and freshman kicker Jonathan Cruz were named to the second team. Redshirt senior tight end Chris Phillips, redshirt junior defensive end Tyriq Harris and junior defensive back Ben DeLuca received honorable mention.
The 49ers also had four players named to the 2018 C-USA all-Freshman Team.
Highsmith ranked fourth in C-USA with a school-record 17.5 tackles for loss (TFL) and he shared the team lead with 8 QB hurries.
LeMay was named second team all-CUSA after finishing second in the league with a 102.3 rushing average and adding a team-best 11 rushing touchdowns.
Davis, a four-year starter on the 49ers’ offensive line, recently accepted an invitation to the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl.
Foggie turned in a second straight standout season. Named second team all-C-USA by Pro Football Focus, last year, he led the league and ranked third in the NCAA with six interceptions, this year.
The league’s only three-time Special Teams Player of the Week, Cruz had the two longest kicks in C-USA play this year and set school records with eight made field goals of 40 or more yards and three makes of 50 or more yards.
The 49ers leading tackler, DeLuca highlighted three honorable mention choices. A three-year starter, the junior led Charlotte with 91 tackles and added an interception, forced fumble and fumble recovery. He shared the team-high with three games of 10 or more tackles, including a 49ers’ season-high 15 vs. Southern Miss.
Harris, a three-year starter and team captain, moved from linebacker to defensive end and put up career highs in tackles (56), TFL (5.5) and sacks (2.5). He moved into seventh-place all-time with 149 career tackles.
Phillips made nine starts during his breakout season. The 49ers’ top tight end target, Phillips caught 11 passes for 104 yards and had touchdown catches vs. UMass and FIU.