MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Conference USA announced its 2022 football all-conference and all-freshman award winners on Tuesday, as voted on by the league’s head football coaches, and Middle Tennessee had 15 players honored.
The Blue Raiders had three first team selections, two on the second team, 10 honorable mention picks, and one on the all-freshman team.
Ferguson, a senior, finished the regular season third on the team in tackles with 63 while leading the team in tackles for loss with 16.0 and sacks with 9.0. The Atlanta, Ga., native also added five pass breakups and five hurries. He enters the bowl game needing one more sack to become the school’s all-time leader.
Ulbrich, a senior, enjoyed his best season as a Blue Raider in 2022. He led Conference USA and was sixth nationally in punting average with an MTSU single-season record 46.2 yards a punt. Ulbrich also led the league with 26 punts of 50 or more yards.
Butler, an honorable mention selection in 2020, played a key role in the Blue Raiders having the league’s top punter and one of the top field goal kickers in 2022. Butler was perfect on his 119 opportunities.
Ross, a junior cornerback, turned in a career season for MTSU. The Macon, Ga., native was second on the team with 74 tackles, including 2.0 TFLs and 19 passes defended. His 18 total pass breakups set a new single-season school record.
Lane, a receiver and returner, earned second team honors as a punt returner. A preseason all-american as a punt returner, Lane led the Blue Raiders with 15 returns and a 6.9-yard return average.
The following players earned Honorable Mention recognition: QB Chase Cunningham (became just second player in school history to record multiple 400-yard passing games), RB Frank Peasant (led team in rushing and touchdowns scored), WR Jaylin Lane (led team in receiving), TE Izaiah Gathings (led all C-USA tight ends with 53 receptions), OL Jordan Palmer (three-time lineman of the week), DE Zaylin Wood (National Defensive Player of the Week), DT Marley Cook (career year with 9.5 TFLs and 6.5 sacks), CB Decorian Patterson (led nation with six interceptions), CB Tra Fluellen (led team with 97 tackles), PK Zeke Rankin (made 12 of 14 field goals, and KR Jaylin Lane (averaged 23.1 yards a return).
RUTLEDGE ON ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Conference USA also announced the All-Freshman Team and MTSU’s Keylan Rutledge was honored as one of five offensive linemen.
Rutledge, a true freshman from Royston, Ga., played in 10 games and had five starts. He averaged nearly 50 snaps per game and graded out a winner from the coaches eight times during the season. Rutledge was the team’s offensive lineman of the week following the win over UTEP.