Nov. 22, 2011
DAVIS, Calif. - The UC Davis football team had three Great West All-Conference First Team members on both offense and defense, as part of 12 total Aggies that were honored on the league's postseason teams voted on by the conference's coaches.
Receiver Tom Hemmingsen, lineman Sean Davies, center Ray Wilburn, free safety Kevyn Lewis and defensive ends Bobby Erskine and Tommy Grillo were each named to the All-Great West First Team while outside linebacker Byron Gruendl, inside linebacker Jordan Glass, cornerback Patrick Shelton and punter Colton Schmidt garnered Second Team accolades.
Wilburn earned first-team recognition for the second straight year while Schmidt repeated as a second team honoree.
Lineman Robert Ayotte and defensive tackle Andrew Benjamin also took honorable mention plaudits. Ayotte was a second-team member last year and Benjamin took his second consecutive honorable mention.
Hemmingsen, a 5-foot-10, sophomore from Danville, had a break-out season after a solid freshman campaign. He led the conference in total receptions and reception touchdowns for the season, tallying 50 catches, seven of which were for touchdowns.
Davies, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound junior from Westlake Village, was the most consistent offensive player for the Aggies all season. He helped the offensive line and UC Davis total a season high 206 rushing yards in the final game of the season at Sacramento State.
Wilburn, a 6-foot-1, 285-pound junior from San Bernardino, took on a leadership role on the offensive line as one of four captains on the 2011 squad. Wilburn has started 31 games over the past three seasons.
Lewis, a 5-foot-11, 200-pound junior from Sacramento, was UC Davis' top tackler in the backfield, finishing with 49 tackles and 34 solo stops. He also tallied 4.0 tackles for losses and a pass breakup after starting in all 11 games.
Erskine, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound junior from San Diego, had a career and team high 9.5 tackles for losses of 37 yards. He also recorded 2.5 sacks and tallied a team best two fumble recoveries.
Grillo, a 6-foot-1, 245-pound senior from Lancaster, managed 4.5 sacks on the year to lead the defensive line. He also added a fumble recovery and 8.0 tackles for losses in 11 games.
The Aggie linebacker duo of Gruendl and Glass tied for the team lead of 68 tackles on the season. Gruendl added 7.5 tackles for losses and 2.0 sacks while Glass managed 6.5 tackles for losses in addition to two interceptions. Shelton had a career year as a senior, starting in nine out of 11 games and finishing with 48 tackles.
Schmidt, a 5-foot-11 junior from Bakersfield, was among the FCS leaders in punting and finished ranked 11th nationally with 42.33 yards per punt. He was put to work with nearly six punts per game and had 13 punts of 50 yards or more.
The league's other major awards were swept by Southern Utah and awarded to quarterback Brad Sorensen (Offensive Player of the Year), defensive lineman Tyler Osborne (Defensive Player of the Year), return specialist Austin Minefee (Special Teams Player of the Year) and receiver Brady Measom (Rookie of the Year).
The coach of the year award went to North Dakota’s Chris Mussman.
UC Davis finished the 2011 season with a 4-7 record and 1-3 mark in conference play. The Aggies won their third straight Battle for the Golden Horseshoe with a 24-17 victory over Cal Poly and captured a second consecutive win in the Causeway Classic after defeating Sacramento State 23-19.