Nov. 28, 2006
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Tulane University football standouts Matt Forté and David Skehan claimed third-team All-Conference USA honors, and redshirt-freshman wideout Jeremy Williams and true freshman defensive end Troy Wilson were named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team, the league announced Tuesday based on the voting panel of media members in each conference city.
A junior running back from Slidell, La., Forté claimed the second all-league honor of his career after being named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team as a rookie in 2004. Skehan, meanwhile, earned All C-USA honors for the first time in his career. With Williams (Baytown, Texas) and Wilson (Gloucester, Va.) earning all-rookie honors, Tulane becomes the only program in C-USA history to place at least two student-athletes on the All-Freshman Team every year since the league's inception in 1995.
Forté, who missed the final three games of the 2006 season with a knee injury, led the Green Wave ground attack with 887 and eight touchdowns on 163 carries and ranked fourth in C-USA with 95.4 yards per game. He posted five 100-yard games during the year, including a string of four straight, and was well on his way to a sixth before injuring his knee early in the second half at Marshall on Nov. 4.
He claimed C-USA Player of the Week honors after galloping for 170 yards and a touchdown in Tulane's 32-29 win at Mississippi State on Sept. 16, and tallied a season-best 178 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries against Rice on Oct. 7. A sure-handed receiver out of the backfield, Forté finished fourth on the team with 28 catches for 360 yards and a pair of scores. He twice tallied five-catch outings, including a career-best 80 yards through the air at Marshall.
Skehan, who originally came to the team as a walk-on and worked his way to earning a scholarship before the start of the 2006 season, led the Green Wave defense with 80 tackles - including 55 solo stops - and four interceptions. He returned his first career pick for a touchdown in Tulane's C-USA opener against SMU on Sept. 30, and finished the year with three pass break-ups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
His six and a half tackles behind the line of scrimmage ranked second on the team, including half a sack for six yards lost. Skehan also excelled on special teams where he was named Tulane's Special Team's Player of the Week a team-best four times.
Skehan tallied eight or more tackles on five occasions, including a 10-tackle performance at Marshall on Nov. 4 and a career-high 11 stops at UTEP on Oct. 14. Three of his interceptions came in league play with picks against SMU, Rice and Marshall.
Williams was Tulane's top freshman among a young receiving corps, and finished the year second on the club with 484 yards and third on the team with 40 catches. His two touchdowns were tied for third on the team. Williams, who played in 11 of Tulane's 12 games with eight starts, led the team in receiving three times, including a 10-catch, 106-yard performance against defending C-USA East Division Champion UCF on Nov. 18.
Wilson, meanwhile, played in all 11 games and finished the year with 16 tackles, including six solo stops, and one and a half tackles behind the line of scrimmage for four yards lost. He also played on several of the Green Wave's special teams units.
Wilson posted five multiple-tackle contests, including four stops at LSU on Sept. 23 and a career best five tackles against Rice on Oct. 7. Two of his tackles against the Tigers were solo stops, marking a career high for Wilson in that category.
The Media All C-USA Team is the first of four announcements made by the league for postseason honors as the league will announced the media's selection for Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Year, as well as the Freshman and coach of the Year on Wednesday. The coaches' selections for All C-USA honors will be released on Tuesday, Dec. 5, with the specialty awards announcement slated for the next day.