Sun Belt Announces All-Conference Teams

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - The Sun Belt Conference office released the selections for the 2014 All-SBC teams with senior center Valerian Ume-Ezeoke named as a first team selection and redshirt sophomore wide receiver Teldrick Morgan as a second team selection.

Ume-Ezeoke, a native of Dallas, Texas, was named a first team selection after a stellar senior season. He was named for the second-consecutive year to the Rimington Watch List prior to the 2014 season starting, which is awarded to the top center in the nation. He was also a Preseason Phil Steele Second Team Selection (center) and a Preseason All-Sun Belt Third Team Selection (center).

“Ume’s preseason honors and postseason honors were very much deserved,” said head coach Doug Martin. “It was an honor to coach a guy like him, who gave it his all during each practice, workout or game. I always said, if we had 15 more guys like Ume [Ezeoke], we’d win a lot more games.”

Ume-Ezeoke was the team captain for NM State during the entire 2014 season. He did not give up any sacks during the 2014 season and was responsible for giving up only one sack throughout his entire career. Ume-Ezeoke played in and started 40 consecutive games beginning Nov. 12, 2011, versus Fresno State as a true freshman. The streak lasted through Nov. 29, 2014, versus Arkansas State, his last game of his senior year.

Ume-Ezeoke has played in a total of 44 games in his career, starting in 43 of those games. He led an Aggie offensive line that allowed only 10 sacks on the season, ranking them No. 2 in the SBC and No. 4 in the nation. He led the team in 2014 in knockdowns and pancakes with 39 and 23 respectively; He came up with a total of 62 (total) knockdowns. Ume-Ezeoke led on offensive line the helped running back Larry Rose III gain over 1,000 yards this season. Rose III is the first player to surpass the 1,000 mark since 1995. His offensive line play helped the Aggies to No. 5 in the SBC in total offense with 418.2 yards per game.

Morgan, a native of Hanover, Md., walked on with the Aggies in 2013 but was a key player for the Aggie offense in 2014. Morgan led the Aggies in all receiving categories including number of receptions (75), yards receiving (903), average yards per catch (12), receiving touchdowns (7) and average per game (82.1). He played in 11 games for NM State during the season. Morgan finished the season No. 2 in the SBC in receptions per game with 6.8 and No. 14 in the nation. He was also No. 2 in the SBC in receiving yards per game (82.1) and No. 26 in the nation.

“Teldrick [Morgan] was a great addition to the team this season,” Martin said. “His work ethic and talent combined but him on another level. I think he could have been a first team selection but at the same time, he can use this as motivation to work to get even better.”

Morgan also finished No. 6 in the Sun Belt and No. 46 in the nation in all-purpose yards (1,361) in all-purpose yards per game (123.7). He ended the year No. 5 in the league in kick return average (22.7). He finished with 903 receiving yards on the year, which ranks him No. 38 nationwide. Morgan was also named to the Biletnikoff Watch List in 2014 and was also an honorable mention selection for for his play during week 11.

Sophomore linebacker Rodney Butler and freshman linebacker Derek Ibekwe were named to the Sun Belt Conference honorable mention team, along with defensive back Winston Rose and running back Larry Rose III. Rose III was also named to the SBC All-Newcomer team.

Rose III led NM State in rushing attempts (186), rushing yards (1102), average per carry (5.9), average rushing yards per game (110.2) and rushing touchdowns (9). He was No. 3 in the SBC in rushing and was also No. 4 in the SBC in all-purpose yards with 1,274 total yards and No. 39 in the nation in all-purpose yards 127.4, while No. 2 in the SBC in all-purpose yards per game. Although he only played in 10 games for the Aggies he was still leading team in every rushing category in 2014. Rose III tallied 23 receptions for 172 yards and one touchdown. He posted a career-high 229 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries against UL Monroe Nov. 22. Rose III is No. 25 in the nation in rushing yards per game with 110.2 per.

Butler finished the season leading NM State in tackles with 119; 61 assisted and 58 solo. He recorded 7.5 tackles for a loss of nine yards and pulled in one interception which he returned 40 yards for a touchdown against Georgia State. Butler recorded two forced fumbles and one pass break up. He is No. 2 in the SBC in total tackles and No. 20 nationally (119 tackles).

Ibekwe finished the season second on the team in total tackles with 102; 46 solo and 56 assisted. He helped the Aggies to the No. 7 ranked pass defense in the nation, allowing only 174.5 yards through the air per game. Ibekwe posted 4.0 tackles for a loss of seven yards. He finished the year No. 5 in the SBC and No. 65 in the nation in total tackles.

The Aggies finished the season 2-10 and 1-7 in SBC play.