The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team finished the season with the best defense in the Southern Conference. And the players making up that defense clearly impressed the league's coaches.
Six of UTC's starters were named to the coaches' All-SoCon first and second teams, with defensive end Josh Williams and linebackers Ryan Consiglio and Wes Dothard earning first-team honors.
"They all had good years and it's good that they got recognized," Mocs coach Russ Huesman said. "Both of our linebackers deserved to be there."
Consiglio, a senior who was second-team All-SoCon in 2010, led the league with 120 tackles -- including 19 in his final game. He said after the Mocs' loss to Wofford last week that his career might have exceeded his own expectations.
"I just worked hard and really enjoyed working at it," he said. "It was something that I'll always take pride in, and to have the career I've had is nothing but a blessing."
Despite a 5-6 record, UTC had seven Mocs on the All-SoCon teams for the second straight year. Wide receiver Joel Bradford (second team) was the only UTC offensive player selected, while three defensive backs -- D.J. Key, Chris Lewis-Harris and Kadeem Wise -- also were second-team choices.
In addition, quarterback Terrell Robinson shared freshman of the year honors with Georgia Southern running back Dominique Swope, and seven Mocs made the all-freshman team.
Joining Robinson on the all-freshman team were running back Marquis Green, kicker Nick Pollard, tight end Faysal Shafaat, defensive end Davis Tull and defensive tackles Josh Freeman and Keyon Reed.
Including the All-SoCon teams and the freshman team, UTC had 14 players recognized, and 11 of them will be back next season. Consiglio, Lewis-Harris and Bradford are the only seniors in the group, and Williams is the lone junior.
Wofford running back Eric Breitenstein was named the offensive player of the year, Georgia Southern tackle Brent Russell was the defensive player of the year and Eagles coach Jeff Monken was selected coach of the year.