Charlotte 49ers seniors Larry Ogunjobi and Kalif Phillips have been named to the preseason All-Conference USA football first team.
It was selected by the league’s head coaches, who are holding their annual preseason football meeting this week in Dallas.
Ogunjobi, a nose tackle from Greensboro, and Phillips, a senior running back who played at A.L. Brown High in Kannapolis, were second-team all-conference picks last season. That was the 49ers’ first season in Conference USA and as a Football Bowl Subdivision member.
Ogunjobi also is on the Watch Lists for the 2016 Bednarik Award, given to college’s defensive player of the year, and the Outland Trophy, which goes to the outstanding interior lineman.
He tied for second in Conference USA last year with a school-record 14.5 tackles for loss. Ogunjobi ranks eighth among active FBS players for career tackles for loss (35.3).
Phillips was fifth in Conference USA rushing last year, despite missing much of the 49ers’ final three games with a knee injury. He averaged 87.4 yards a game rushing last season and was near the 100-yards-a-game mark before the injury limited him to four carries in Charlotte’s final three games.
Phillips had three 100-yard games, including a 205-yard effort against Old Dominion.
Coaches named senior quarterback Nick Mullens of Southern Mississippi as offensive player of the year and senior defensive end Trey Hendrickson of Florida Atlantic as defensive player of the year. The 49ers will face both teams this season.
The All-Conference USA preseason team:
Quarterbacks: Brent Stockstill, soph., Middle Tennessee; Nick Mullens, sr., Southern Mississippi.
Running backs: Kalif Phillips, sr., Charlotte; Ray Lawry, junior, Old Dominion; Ito Smith, junior, Southern Mississippi; Aaron Jones, junior, Southern Mississippi; Aaron Jones, sr., UTEP; Jarveon Williams, sr., UTSA; Anthony Wales, sr., Western Kentucky.
Offensive line: Michael Montero, sr., Florida International; Reggie Bain, jr, Florida Atlantic; Darrell Brown, sr., Louisiana Tech; David Mahaffey, sr., Louisiana Tech; Michael Selby, sr., Marshall; Clint Van Horn, sr., Marshall; Maurquice Shakir, sr., Middle Tennessee; Cameron Tom, sr., Southern Mississippi; Forrest Lamp, sr., Western Kentucky; Will Hernandez, jr., UTEP.
Tight ends: Jonnu Smith, sr., Florida International; Ryan Yurachek, jr., Marshall.
Wide receivers: Trent Taylor, sr., Louisiana Tech; Richie James, so., Middle Tennessee; Zach Pascal, sr., Old Dominion; Taywan Taylor, sr., Western Kentucky.
Line: Larry Ogunjobi, sr., Charlotte; Trey Hendrickson, sr., Florida Atlantic; Jaylon Ferguson, so., Louisiana Tech; Gary Thompson, sr., Marshall; Rashaad Coward, sr., Old Dominion; Dylan Bradley, sr., Southern Mississippi; Nick Usher, sr., UTEP; Marcus Davenport, jr., UTSA.
Linebackers: Anthony Wint, jr., Florida International; Azeez Al-Shaair, so., Florida Atlantic; T.J. Ricks, sr., Old Dominion; Alex Lyons, sr., Rice; D’Nerius Antoine, sr., Southern Mississippi; Alvin Jones, jr., UTEP.
Backs: Ocie Rose, so., Florida Atlantic; Jalen Young, so., Florida Atlantic; Xavier Woods, sr., Louisiana Tech; Jeremy Cutrer, sr., Middle Tennessee; Kishawn McClain, jr., North Texas; Justice Davila, jr., Old Dominion; Picasso Nelson, jr., Southern Mississippi; Michael Egwuagu, sr., UTSA.
Kicker: Jonathan Barnes, jr., Louisiana Tech; Punter: Dalton Schomp, sr., Florida Atlantic; Kick Returner: Kylen Towner, jr., Western Kentucky; Long-snapper: Darrell Travis, sr., Louisiana Tech.