Four Bulls make coaches All-AAC team

USF senior linebacker Auggie Sanchez (43) is among four Bulls on the coaches All-American Athletic Conference first team. (OCTAVIO JONES | Times)
USF senior linebacker Auggie Sanchez (43) is among four Bulls on the coaches All-American Athletic Conference first team. (OCTAVIO JONES | Times)
Published November 29 2017
Updated November 29 2017

A foursome of USF seniors, including all-time tackles leader Auggie Sanchez, earned first-team recognition on the coaches All-American Athletic Conference team released Wednesday.

The squad, which can be seen in its entirety here, featured 28 first-teamers, 29 second-teamers and 15 honorable-mention picks. Sanchez, previously a two-time second-team pick, was joined on the first team by Bulls DT Deadrin Senat, LG Jeremi Hall and PK Emilio Nadelman.

Senior QB Quinton Flowers, the 2016 AAC Offensive Player of the Year and USF's career total yardage leader, made the second team with S Devin Abraham, RT Marcus Norman, DT Bruce Hector and DB Deatrick Nichols. Bulls C Cameron Ruff was an honorable-mention selection.

No. 14 UCF (11-0) which hosts Memphis in Saturday's AAC championship game, earned a league-record 16 all-conference nods.

Sophomore QB McKenzie Milton, the nation's second-most efficient passer, was chosen Offensive Player of the Year. Coach Scott Frost, who has transformed the Knights from a winless program to an undefeated one on the cusp of a league title in only two seasons, was a unanimous coach-of-the-year pick.

Milton enters Saturday's game with 3,301 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, six interceptions and 429 rushing yards. His pass-efficiency rating (182.9) trails only Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma.

Houston sophomore DL Ed Oliver, who has 69 tackles (14.5 for loss) despite missing parts of two games due to injury, was chosen Defensive Player of the Year. Memphis' Tony Pollard, who leads the nation in kick-return average (44.2 yards) and has returned four kicks for TDs, was the special teams pick.

Sanchez, who enters USF's bowl game with 380 career tackles, has 76 tackles this season including a career-best nine for loss. He also returned interceptions for TDs in consecutive games against East Carolina and Cincinnati.

Hall, who has started 24 consecutive games, has solidified himself as a steady pulling guard for the nation's No. 10 rushing offense (265.4 ypg). Senat, arguably the league's best defensive lineman down the stretch, had 54 of his 61 tackles in USF's last seven games. He had 12 tackles and two sacks against Houston, and 14 tackles against Tulsa.

Nadelman set a new school single-season record with 20 field goals, missing only four and finishing the regular season with the nation's 24th-ranked field-goal percentage (83.3). He needs three points in the bowl game to break Delbert Alvarado's 10-year-old single-season scoring record (109).