TAMPA — USF sophomore return specialist Lindsey Lamar, a Hillsborough High graduate who returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, was named Big East special teams player of the year, one of three Bulls to make the first-team All-Big East squad that was announced Wednesday.
Lamar, senior center Sampson Genus and senior defensive tackle Terrell McClain earned first-team honors. Four Bulls seniors — tackle Jake Sims, receiver Dontavia Bogan, linebacker Jacquian Williams and cornerback Mistral Raymond — made the second team.
Connecticut running back Jordan Todman took the top offensive honor, Pittsburgh end Jabaal Sheard earned the defensive nod and UConn's Randy Edsall and Louisville's Charlie Strong shared coach of the year.
FITCH INTERVIEWING: Offensive coordinator Todd Fitch will interview this weekend for the head coaching job at Kent State, according to Rivals/Yahoo.com. Fitch, who has worked under Skip Holtz at his past three schools, is an Ohio native whose career started at his alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan, and Bowling Green.
Also, Frank Wintrich, USF's associate director of strength and conditioning, will become head strength coach with former USF assistants Dan McCarney and Mike Canales at North Texas.
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl coaches share respect
The Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl pits Louisville and Southern Mississippi in a battle of former UF assistants.
Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora spent three years on Ron Zook's UF staff. Louisville coach Charlie Strong was also on Zook's staff, and until last year he was with Urban Meyer.
"We used to go against each other at Florida because he had his offensive players and I was on defense,'' Strong said. "We have so much mutual respect for each other. Now we get to finally play against each other with programs we have built.''
Fedora is looking forward to squaring off against his old friend Dec. 21 at Tropicana Field.
"In football, this happens all the time,'' Fedora said. "I'm excited about it, honestly. I know Charlie and his family very well.''
ucf honors: Central Florida defensive end Bruce Miller took top defensive honors and quarterback Jeff Godfrey was named freshman of the year in the Conference USA awards. East Carolina receiver Dwayne Harris was named MVP, and Tulsa quarterback G.J. Kinne was the offensive player of the year.
lombardi award: Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley was named the nation's top lineman, beating out defensive ends Da'Quan Bowers of Clemson and Adrian Clayborn of Iowa and TCU center Jake Kirkpatrick. Fairley has a school-record 21 tackles for loss and is second in the SEC with 10½ sacks.
Connecticut: Freshman offensive lineman Greg McKee faces child pornography charges and is being held on $75,000 bond.
Iowa: All-time leading receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos made his initial court appearance on drug charges. He is not accused of dealing drugs, but he is charged with allowing drugs to be used "and likely sold" from a home he shares with a roommate, and with possession of small amounts of cocaine and marijuana. Police say he tested positive for both. He is suspended from team activities.
nebraska: Starting defensive tackle Baker Steinkuhler will not play in the Holiday Bowl because he was ticketed on suspicion of drunken driving.
virginia tech: Starting linebacker Lyndell Gibson will miss the Orange Bowl after shoulder surgery to repair a left scapular fracture. He should be ready to return in 6-8 months. Redshirt freshman Tariq Edwards becomes the starter.
Times staff writer Rodney Page contributed to this report, which used information from the Orlando Sentinel and Times wires.