Conner Vernon named to TSN Freshman All American Team

Conner Vernon - BDN Photo
Conner Vernon - BDN Photo

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke wide receiver Conner Vernon has been named to the Freshman All-America team by Sporting News, announced on Wednesday by the national publication.

In addition, Vernon was joined by teammates Brian Moore and Desmond Scott on the Sporting News Freshman All-ACC squad.

A 6-2, 195-pound native of Miami, Fla., Vernon established school single-season records for pass receptions (55), receiving yards (746) and 100-yard receiving game (3) by a freshman in 2009.  In addition, his 13.5 yards per catch average ranks as the sixth-highest by a Duke rookie and his three touchdown receptions matched the school’s fourth-best single-season output for freshmen.  Vernon’s 1,041 all-purpose yards rank as the fourth-best single-season performance by a Duke freshman.

Moore, a 6-3, 275-pound offensive guard from Coral Gables, Fla., started all 12 games at right guard in 2009, helping the Blue Devils lead the ACC and rank ninth in the nation in passing offense (305.0 ypg).  Moore helped the Duke offensive line rank third in the conference in sacks allowed per passing attempt (17.89) behind only Florida State (20.65) and Clemson (19.79).

Scott, a 5-10, 185-pound running back from  Durham, N.C., earned a spot on the all-freshman unit as a specialist after returning 18 kickoffs for 452 yards, good for a 25.1 yards per return average that ranks fourth in the ACC and sits third on the school’s single-season chart for rookies.  In the season finale against Wake Forest, he returned seven kickoffs for 211 yards – the third-highest single-game total in Duke history – en route to setting a new school single-game record for all-purpose yards (259) by a freshman.

Vernon is the 10th Duke rookie to earn Freshman All-America honors from Sporting News since 2000, joining Ryan Fowler (LB/3rd team/2000), Jim Scharrer (LB/4th team/2001), Ben Patrick (TE/3rd team/2003), Chris Davis (KR/3rd team/2004), Michael Tauiliili (LB/1st team/2005), Zack Asack (QB/HM/2005), Vince Oghobaase (DT/HM/2006), Thaddeus Lewis (QB/HM/2006), Kevin Jones (P/HM/2007) and Kyle Hill (OG/2nd team/2008).

2009 SPORTING NEWS FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICA

OFFENSE
QB Andrew Luck, Stanford
RB Dion Lewis, Pitt
RB  Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech
WR Eric Page, Toledo
WR Conner Vernon, Duke
TE Orson Charles, Georgia
OL Tanner Hawkinson, Kansas
OL Barrett Jones, Alabama
OL Peter Konz, Wisconsin
OL David DeCastro, Stanford
OL Aaron Douglas, Tennessee
K Matt Hogan, Houston
KR  Warren Norman, Vanderbilt

DEFENSE
DE Aldon Smith, Missouri
DT Jerel Worthy, Michigan State
DT Larry Black, Indiana
DE Nick Perry, USC
LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College
LB Chris Borland, Wisconsin
LB Brian Wagner, Akron
CB Corey Broomfield, Mississippi State
CB Josh Robinson, UCF
S Rashard Hall, Clemson
S Gerald Moore, Ohio
P Tress Way, Oklahoma
PR Greg Reid, Florida State

National Freshman of the year: Dion Lewis, Pitt

2009 SPORTING NEWS FRESHMAN ALL-ACC

OFFENSE
QB Kyle Parker, Clemson
RB Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech
RB Montel Harris, Boston College
WR Conner Vernon, Duke
WR Erik Highsmith, North Carolina
TE Chris Pantale, Boston College
OL Brian Moore, Duke
OL Phil Smith, Georgia Tech
OL Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
OL Dalton Freeman, Clemson
OL Michael Via, Virginia Tech
K Dustin Hopkins, Florida State
KR Desmond Scott, Duke

DEFENSE
DL Antoine Hopkins, Virginia Tech
DL Jacobbi McDaniel, Florida State
DL A.J. Francis, Maryland
DL T.J. Barnes, Georgia Tech
LB Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
LB Steve Greer, Virginia
LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College
DB Greg Reid, Florida State
DB Kenny Okoro, Wake Forest
DB Rashard Hall, Clemson
DB Brandan Bishop N.C. State
P Nick Ferrara, Maryland
PR Greg Reid, Florida State

ACC Freshman of the Year: Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech