Senior QB earns honor for second-straight year.
December 3, 1998
Chicago - Conference USA announced its 1998 Players of the Year Wednesday, as selected by the eight C-USA head football coaches and media members in each conference city. The league concludes its third regular season this Saturday when Army plays Navy in Philadelphia.
Tulane senior quarterback Shaun King was named C-USAs Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. King became the first player in Division I-A history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 500 yards this season and also broke the NCAA's all-time mark for passing efficiency (183.3), formerly held by Florida's Danny Wuerrfel. On the season, King completed 222-of-327 passes for 3,227 yards and 36 touchdowns with just six interceptions, while rushing for 549 yards and 10 TDs. King was the choice of the conference coaches to be C-USA's Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
Southern Miss junior defensive end Adalius Thomas was chosen as the leagues Defensive Player of the Year after leading Conference USA and ranking among the nation's leaders in sacks with 12.5. Thomas recorded 71 tackles (49 solo), including 20 tackles for loss, along with five pass breakups and two blocked kicks. The two-time First Team All-Conference selection is the school's all-time leader in sacks with 25.5. Thomas was tabbed C-USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year this past July by the league's head coaches.
Memphis freshman kicker Ryan White was honored as Conference USA's Special Teams Player of the Year . White is the only starting kicker in any division of NCAA football that did not miss a kick this season. White connected on all 16 of his field goal attempts and was a perfect 22-22 on extra points. His average of 1.45 field goals made per game ranked 16th in the country and his 16 consecutive made field goals is a new school record.
Running back Derrick Nix of Southern Miss was named the leagues Freshman of the Year. The true freshman led Conference USA in rushing with 1,180 yards, including 853 in six conference games. Nix's 5.2 per carry average was the third-highest in the league, as was his nine rushing touchdowns. Nix posted six 100-yard games and the Golden Eagles were victorious in each of those games.