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December 10, 2010

Rivals.com 2010 All-Sun Belt team

After a 3-9 season in 2009, no one expected much from Florida International this season.

Instead, FIU finished as league co-champ and is going to the first bowl in program history. That's why the Panthers' Mario Cristobal is Rivals.com's Sun Belt coach of the year. FIU tied Troy for the league crown, but the Panthers ripped the Trojans in their head-to-head matchup.

The Rivals.com awards
League MVP: Western Kentucky RB Bobby Rainey
Offensive MVP: Western Kentucky RB Bobby Rainey
Defensive MVP: North Texas LB Craig Robertson
Coach of year: FIU's Mario Cristobal
Coordinator of year: FIU defensive coordinator Geoff Collins
Freshman of year: Troy QB Corey Robinson
Defense was FIU's calling card, and Panthers defensive coordinator Geoff Collins gets the nod as out league coordinator of the year. Collins is in his first season on the job and was hired off UCF's staff; UCF is known for its physical defense, and Collins oversaw a FIU unit that was aggressive and physical.

Western Kentucky running back Bobby Rainey, the league's leading rusher and No. 3 in the nation, is our league MVP and offensive player of the year. Rainey's production (137.4 yards per game) is all the more amazing because Western's passing attack is abysmal (143.5 ypg). Thus, despite opposing defenses loading up to stop the run, Rainey still was successful.

Rainey had nine 100-yard games and had seven multiple-TD games. In Western's four non-conference games against Big Six foes (Nebraska, USF, Indiana and Kentucky, three of whom are going bowling), Rainey averaged 102.0 yards and rushed for five touchdowns; he ran for 155 yards against Nebraska. He led the nation with 340 carries, 38 more than UConn's Jordan Todman, the only other back with more than 300 attempts.

North Texas linebacker Craig Robertson is our defensive player of the year. He averaged 11.1 tackles per game to rank eighth nationally and finished with 133 tackles. He also had 10 tackles for loss, two sacks, four pass breakups, a fumble recovery and an interception. He had eight games with double-digit tackles, including a season-high 16 against Kansas State.

QB Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State
Particulars: 6-1/205, Soph.; Orange Park (Fla.) Fleming Island
RB Lance Dunbar, North Texas
Particulars: 5-9/202, Jr.; Haltom City (Texas) High
RB Bobby Rainey, Western Kentucky
Particulars: 5-8/196, Jr.; Griffin (Ga.) High
WR T.Y. Hilton, FIU
Particulars: 5-10/183, Jr.; Miami Springs High
WR Jerrel Jernigan, Troy
Particulars: 5-9/185, Sr.; Eufaula (Ala.) High
WR Lester Jean, FAU
Particulars: 6-3/195, Sr.; Miami Norland
Particulars: 6-3/290, Sr.; Nashville Goodpasture Christian
T Victor Gill, North Texas
Particulars: 6-4/261, Sr.; Argyle (Texas) High
G Cedric Mack, FIU
Particulars: 6-4/320, Sr.; El Camino College (Calif.), preceded by Miami Palmetto
G Mychal Patterson, Western Kentucky
Particulars: 6-3/291, Sr.; Stone Mountain (Ga.) Meadowcreek
C Brad Serini, FIU
Particulars: 6-3/300, Sr.; Highland (N.Y.) High
E Jamari Lattimore, Middle Tennessee
Particulars: 6-3/231, Sr.; Dodge City (Kan.) CC, preceded by Miami Hialeah-Miami Lakes
T Bryan Hall, Arkansas State
Particulars: 6-2/290, Sr.; Paducah (Ky.) Tilghman
Particulars: 6-2/250, Soph.; Butler Co. CC (Kan.), preceded by Lawrenceville (Ga.) Central Gwinnett
Particulars: 6-3/245, Sr.; Orlando Olympia
LB Thomas Majors, Western Kentucky
Particulars: 6-0/239, Sr.; Northwest Mississippi CC, preceded by Nashville Maplewood
LB Craig Robertson, North Texas
Particulars: 6-1/221, Sr.; Stafford (Texas) High
LB Toronto Smith, FIU
Particulars: 5-10/223, Sr.; Tallahassee (Fla.) Rickards
Particulars: 5-10/175, Sr.; Miami Northwestern
CB Rod Issac, Middle Tennessee
Particulars: 5-11/182, Sr.; Miami Central
Particulars: 6-1/205, Soph.; North Miami Beach (Fla.) High
SS Darius Prelow, Louisiana-Monroe
Particulars: 6-0/207, Jr.; Shreveport (La.) Southwood
K Zach Olen, North Texas
Particulars: 5-19/210, Fr.; Richardson (Texas) Berkner
Particulars: 5-11/170, Jr.; Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
KR Brelan Chancellor, North Texas
Particulars: 5-9/170, Fr.; Copperas Cove (Texas) High
PR Jerrel Jernigan, Troy
Particulars: 5-9/185, Sr.; Eufaula (Ala.) High
QB Corey Robinson, Troy
Particulars: 6-0/214, R-Fr.; Paducah (Ky.) Lone Oak
RB Darriet Perry, FIU
Particulars: 5-9/200, Jr.; Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes
RB Phillip Tanner, Middle Tennessee
Particulars: 6-0/208, Sr.; Dallas Kimball
WR Luther Ambrose, Louisiana-Monroe
Particulars: 5-9/173, Jr.; St. James (La.) High
WR Dwayne Frampton, Arkansas State
Particulars: 5-9/180, Jr.; Los Angeles Harbor College, preceded by Los Angeles Dorsey
TE Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette
Particulars: 6-6/225, Jr.; Pensacola (Fla.) Washington
T James Brown, Troy
Particulars: 6-4/329, Jr.; Southwest Mississippi CC, preceded by Liberty (Miss.) Amite Co.
T Wes Jeffries, Western Kentucky
Particulars: 6-4/306, Jr.; Bowling Green (Ky.) Warren Central
G Sifa Etu, Arkansas State
Particulars: 6-1/295, Sr.; Chabot College (Calif.), preceded by Hayward (Calif.) High
G Esteban Santiago, North Texas
Particulars: 6-3/296, Sr.; El Paso (Texas) Coronado
C Ian Burks, Louisiana-Lafayette
Particulars: 6-4/286, Sr.; Denham Springs (La.) High
E Mario Addison, Troy
Particulars: 6-3/240, Sr.; Northeast Mississippi CC, preceded by Birmingham (Ala.) Tarrant
T Dorvus Woods, Arkansas State
Particulars: 6-3/265, Jr.; St. Louis Vashon
Particulars: 6-4/230, Soph.; Miami Norland
LB Cameron Blakes, Louisiana-Monroe
Particulars: 6-1/212, Soph.; Monroe (La.) Ouachita Parish
Particulars: 6-1/232, Soph.; Miami Booker T. Washington
LB Xavier Lamb, Troy
Particulars: 5-9/220, Jr.; Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln
LB Javon McKinnon, Arkansas State
Particulars: 6-0/230, Sr.; Memphis Melrose
CB Orkeys Auriene, Louisiana-Lafayette
Particulars: 5-10/175, Sr.; Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland
CB Tarvoris Hill, FAU
Particulars: 6-0/170, Sr.; Miami Norland
FS Jeremy Kellem, Middle Tennessee
Particulars: 5-10/190, Sr.; Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High
SS Ashlyn Parker, FIU
Particulars: 6-1/204, Sr.; Port St. Joe (Fla.) High
Particulars: 5-10/215, Jr.; Pensacola (Fla.) Washington
P Will Goggans, Troy
Particulars: 6-0/233, Jr.; Douglas (Ga.) Coffee Co.
KR T.Y. Hilton, FIU
Particulars: 5-10/183, Jr.; Miami Springs High
PR Travis Jones, FAU
Particulars: 5-11/175, R-Fr.; Port St. Lucie (Fla.) Treasure Coast

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