DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke senior linebacker Michael Tauiliili has been named Second Team All-America by the Walter Camp Foundation, the organization announced on Thursday evening.
"Given the history behind the Walter Camp Foundation, I know this is a prestigious honor," said Tauiliili. "I know it dates back a long time and it is an honor and privilege to be named an All-America. I commed my coaches, teammates and everybody surrounding Duke football in helping me make the transition physically, mentally and emotionally from last season into the player I was this year."
auiliili, a 5-11, 235-pound native of Houston, Texas, becomes the first Duke linebacker to receive All-America honors since Mike Junkin was a second team selection in 1986. Other Blue Devil linebackers to garner All-America accolades include Bob Matheson (1st team in 1966), Dick Biddle (3rd team in 1970) and Keith Stoneback (3rd team in 1974). Tauiliili is Duke's first All-America choice overall since punter Brian Morton was honored with a second team citation following the 2000 campaign.
In 2008, Tauiliili led Duke in tackles (140), interceptions (4), pass breakups (5), quarterback pressures (5) and caused fumbles (3). His 140 stops led the ACC and matched the eighth-highest single-season total in school history. He added 13.0 tackles for loss and one fumble recovery and was a primary reason that Duke made significant improvement in scoring defense (-9.8), total defense (-67.4), rushing defense (-28.7) and passing defense (-38.7) while facing the second-most difficult schedule in the nation -- a ledger that included 10 bowl eligible teams and the top-ranked FCS squad in James Madison.
A First Team All-ACC selection this season, Tauiliili finished third in the league's Defensive Player of the Year voting after captaining a Duke defense that held three opponents to less than 10 points for the first time since 1976. He is the only linebacker in the ACC to rank among the league's top 10 players in four defensive statistical categories.
Tauiliili played 46 career games at Duke and finished with 434 tackles, 46.0 tackles for loss, 6.0 quarterback sacks, seven interceptions and eight pass breakups. On Duke's career charts, he ranks fourth in tackles and third in tackles for loss.[/private]