SMU's Line earns C-USA preseason honor
June Jones' teams are known for offense, but it's usually the passing game that gets the accolades.
That reputation will have to be altered as SMU running back Zach Line was named Conference USA's preseason Offensive Player of the Year on Monday.
SMU and Central Florida tied for the most players on the C-USA preseason team, which was voted on by coaches, with four each. East Carolina, Houston, Rice and Southern Miss each had three players selected.
Joining Line from SMU are defensive end Margus Hunt, receiver Darius Johnson and linebacker Taylor Reed.
Line, a senior, led C-USA in rushing the last two years. He missed the last three games of the 2011 and still finished seventh in the nation in rushing with 122.4 yards per game. He rushed for 100 yards in eight games and led C-USA in rushing touchdowns with 17.
Tulane linebacker Trent Macky was tabbed as the Defensive Player of the Year by the coaches, while Southern Miss return man Tracey Lampley was named the Special Teams Player of the Year.
Conference USA's football media day is Wednesday in Dallas. The league kicks off the season Thursday, Aug. 30 when Rice plays host to UCLA and Central Florida plays at Akron.
2012 C-USA FOOTBALL COACHES PRESEASON AWARDS
Offensive Player of the Year
Zach Line, Sr., RB, SMU
Defensive Player of the Year
Trent Mackey, Sr., LB, Tulane
Special Teams Player of the Year
Tracey Lampley, Sr., KR/PR, Southern Miss
First Team Offense
QB Nick Lamaison, Sr., UTEP
RB Charles Sims, Jr., Houston
RB Zach Line, Sr., SMU
OL Jordan Devey, Sr., Memphis
OL Joe Duhon, Sr., Southern Miss
OL Kevin Forsch, Jr., Houston
OL Theo Goins, Sr., UCF
OL Chris Hubbard, Sr., UAB
OL Will Simmons, Jr., East Carolina
WR Willie Carter, Jr., Tulsa
WR Aaron Dobson, Sr., Marshall
WR Darius Johnson, Sr., SMU
TE Luke Willson, Sr., Rice
First Team Defense
DL Michael Brooks, Sr., East Carolina
DL Jamie Collins, Sr., Southern Miss
DL Victor Gray, Jr., UCF
DL Margus Hunt, Sr., SMU
LB Jeremy Grove, So., East Carolina
LB Trent Mackey, Sr., Tulane
LB Taylor Reed, Sr., SMU
DB Bryce Callahan, So., Rice
DB D.J. Hayden, Sr., Houston
DB Kemal Ishmael, Sr., UCF
DB Dexter McCoil, Sr., Tulsa
First Team Special Teams
K Chris Boswell, Jr., Rice
P Ian Campbell, Sr., UTEP
KR Rannell Hall, So., UCF
PR Tracey Lampley, Sr., Southern Miss
Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire