Stewart earns all-conference honor
Trevon Stewart, left, and teammate Zachary McMillian were among Houston’s seven all-conference honors. Stewart, a free safety, and McMillion, a cornerback, both were named a second-team selections in The American Athletic Conference. (Submitted Photo/Courtesy of The University of Houston Athletic Communications)
Seven student-athletes from the University of Houston football program, including Patterson alum Trevon Stewart, earned recognition from The American Athletic Conference’s coaches as the league’s honors were announced Wednesday.
Stewart, a sophomore free safety, was a second-team all-conference honoree, while sophomore wide receiver Deontay Greenberry and freshman kick returner Demarcus Ayers were named to the league’s first team. Ayers was named The American’s Co-Special Teams Player of the Year and freshman quarterback John O’Korn took home Rookie of the Year honors.
Other Houston second-team honorees were senior offensive tackle DeAnthony Sims, senior cornerback Zach McMillian, and senior punter Richie Leone.
Stewart, the nation’s leader in takeaways with 10, leads the nation and set a Houston single-season record with his six fumble recoveries. A Football Writers Association of American Freshman All-American in 2012, the sophomore is tied for third in the league with four interceptions. He also has 99 tackles, five pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
The program’s Andre Ware Offensive Most Valuable Player, Greenberry led the league with an average of 100.5 receiving yards per game despite leaving one game early in the first quarter and missing Houston’s regular-season finale vs. SMU. Greenberry’s 10 touchdown receptions ranked second in the league, while his 76 receptions ranked third in the conference.
In his first year on the collegiate level, Ayers led the league with an average kick return of 26.8 yards and 884 total kick return yards. The Lancaster, Texas, native set the Houston freshman single-season record with his 884 yards and currently ranks fourth on the single-season chart regardless of class. He had a 95-yard touchdown return vs. BYU and is second nationally with 10 returns of 30 yards or longer. Ayers also added 9 receptions for 116 yards and 1 touchdown at receiver.
O’Korn, who started 10 of 12 games this season, led all true freshmen nationally with 26 passing touchdowns and was fourth in the league overall with 2,889 passing yards. He also added 66 yards rushing, including a 24-yard rushing touchdown at the University of Central Florida. His 26 touchdowns and 239 completions set Houston freshman records, and he currently ranks second on the freshman passing yards chart, needing 242 yards to capture the record.
Houston’s starting left tackle, Sims, earned second-team honors after playing 899 offensive snaps with 36 knockdown blocks. Sims was a part of an offense that ranks second in The American in scoring at 33.9 points per game and third in the league with 25 sacks allowed.
McMillian tied for third in the league with 4 interceptions and broke up 6 passes. The senior from Missouri City also collected 53 tackles while forcing 1 fumble.
A Ray Guy Award semifinalist for the third straight year, Leone placed 52.4 percent of his punts inside his opponents’ 20-yard line and 22.2 percent inside the 10, both league bests. Leone finished the regular season with an average of 43.1 yards per punt on 63 punts, including 14 over 50 yards and four over 60. Just three of Leone’s 63 punts resulted in a touchback, with opponents calling for a fair catch 14 times.
With Leone’s leg, the Houston punt team ranks third nationally and leads The American with a net punting average of 41.3 yards per punt.