TAMPA — The University of South Florida had five players make All-American Athletic Conference - including first-team sophomore defensive end Aaron Lynch - but junior place-kicker Marvin Kloss, a finalist for the Lou Groza Award that will be presented tonight at Lake Buena Vista, was ignored.
The team, announced Wednesday, was selected by the AAC coaches.
Lynch, a transfer from Notre Dame who was mentioned as a high NFL first-round draft choice even before he played for USF, led the Bulls with six sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss. Lynch also had a fumble-return touchdown to spark USF’s victory at Connecticut.
After Saturday night’s 31-6 loss at Rutgers in the regular-season finale, USF coach Willie Taggart said he expects Lynch to explore his draft options.
USF’s second-team players included senior running back Marcus Shaw, senior middle linebacker DeDe Lattimore, senior defensive tackle Luke Sager and junior tight end Mike McFarland.
Shaw, who missed two full games and most of another with injury, had 765 rushing yards to rank second in the AAC behind UCF’s Storm Johnson. Lattimore had 98 tackles, including 18 at Rutgers, and led the AAC with four forced fumbles. Sager had 11.5 tackles for a loss. McFarland had 23 receptions, finishing second at USF behind junior wide receiver Andre Davis (49 catches).
Kloss didn’t make the All-AAC first or second teams despite converting 18 of 23 field-goal attempts. He had 11 field goals from 40 yards and beyond, leading the nation in that category, and was a major weapon for the 2-10 Bulls, who managed just 11 offensive touchdowns all season.
Memphis freshman Jake Elliott (16 of 18 on field-goal attempts) was the All-AAC first-team place-kicker, while UCF junior Shawn Elliott (20 of 22) was picked for second team.
UCF’s George O’Leary, whose Knights (11-1, 8-0) face Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl, was named AAC Coach of the Year. UCF junior Blake Bortles was picked as the first-team quarterback and Offensive Player of the Year.