BOCA RATON, Fla. - Two first-year members of the Florida Atlantic University football team were voted Conference USA All-Freshman on Tuesday, as announced by the league office and voted on by member coaches.
Wide receiver Willie Wright and defensive lineman Leighton McCarthy represented FAU on the squad. Both have been starters and key members of the Eastern Division and C-USA postseason championship-winning 10-3 Owls.
Wright, the Owls' freshman slot receiver, has started nine of the 12 games he's appeared in this season, and leads the FAU high-powered offense with 49 catches and 586 yards. He has caught four touchdowns, including the longest offensive play in program history (and in C-USA this season), of 95 yards, against Navy. Another score came as part of a line of eight receptions and 141 yards in the team's record-setting 804-yard performance versus North Texas. Additionally, he has been used often out of the backfield, averaging 8.0 yards per rush, 15 carries for 120 yards and another score.
McCarthy has earned one of the starting edge spots on the FAU defensive line, and has seen his name in the starting lineup for 11 games. His 49 tackles are second among linemen and sixth overall on the team, and he has four sacks, fourth on the squad. Three came in three consecutive games, all conference wins, against Old Dominion, North Texas and WKU, and combined, made for 16 yards of loss. The fourth was part of the team's nine-sack effort in the Conference Championship against NT. He is also second on the team with 8.5 total tackles for loss, for 39 yards lost, and has three QB hurries, one forced fumble and an interception.