Cairo Santos is the first Tulane player to earn first-team All-America honors since Seth Marler.
Dec. 11, 2012
New Orleans - Tulane junior kicker Cairo Santos continues to reap the rewards of his perfect season and today he became the 19th first-team All-American in school history with his selection to the 2012 Associated Press (AP) and Sports Illustrated (SI) All-America First Teams, as it was announced by both publications.
Less than a week after receiving the Lou Groza Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top place-kicker, Santos became the first Tulane player, and just the second kicker, to earn first-team All-America honors since fellow Groza Award winner Seth Marler was a first-team selection by the Football Writers Association of America in 2001.
Santos is also the first Tulane player to receive first-team All-America honors by the AP since receiver Marc Zeno in 1987 and the first Green Wave to receive All-America honors from SI since Matt Forte was a second-team selection in 2007.
"It is a great honor to be recognized by these publications as one of the top kickers in America," Santos said. "I feel privileged to represent Tulane University and our football team, but I could not have achieved this success without my great teammates and coaches. This recognition belongs to them as well."
Three weeks ago, Santos, who hails from Sao Paulo, Brazil, but prepped as an exchange student at St. Joseph's Academy in St. Augustine, Fla., completed one of the best seasons by a kicker in NCAA history by finishing a perfect 21-of-21 on field goal attempts. Santos was named to the All-Conference USA First Team and joined 1996 Groza winner Marc Primanti from North Carolina State as the only kickers in FBS history to stay perfect throughout a season in which they attempted 20 or more, but Santos finished with one more make than Primanti, who was 20-of-20 in 1996.
Santos, who also connected 27-of-28 PAT attempts, led the nation with 12, 40+ yard field goals, including a pair of 50-yarders, and set the school record with a 57-yarder vs. Rice, which tied for the fourth longest in the nation this season. He also nailed a 54-yarder against ULM. Santos led C-USA in field goal percentage (1.000), field goals per game (1.75) and ranked eighth nationally in field goals per game while sitting fifth in kicking points scored (89) per game (7.4), tied for fifth in PAT percentage (.963) and was seventh in overall points per game (7.4).
Freshman defensive back Darion Monroe was also honored today, as he received honorable mention Freshman All-America accolades by the College Football News (CFN). Monroe is the first rookie to receive an All-America honor since running back Orleans Darkwa was named a third-team Freshman All-America by Phil Steele in 2010 and was also an honorable mention selection by CFN.
Monroe, who was named to the All-Conference USA Freshman Team, hails from New Orleans and prepped at nearby East St. John High School in LaPlace. As a true freshman, he started all 12 games, leading the team with 96 tackles and fumble recoveries (3) while adding 2.5 tackles for loss on defense and returning three punts for 63 yards on special teams. He tied for the C-USA lead in fumble recoveries per game (0.25) and tied for 13th in tackles per game (8.0).
Monroe had five double-digit tackle outings with a career-best 13 vs. SMU; 12 vs. Ole Miss and Houston; 10 at UTEP and vs. Rice. He recorded nine stops and a pair of fumble recoveries - including one returned 54 yards for a touchdown -at Memphis.
"This is a tremendous honor and I feel very blessed to be included among so many great freshmen players from around the nation," Monroe said.