April 8, 2010
Houston, Texas - In the midst of spring practice four University of Houston football players were named on Thursday as preseason favorites for various awards presented by College Football Performance Awards.
Senior quarterback Case Keenum was named to both the 2010 National Performer of the Year and 2010 Quarterback Trophy, while senior wide receiver James Cleveland was placed on the favorite list in the 2010 Wide Receiver Trophy category. Keenum won the 2009 CFPA Quarterback Award.
The Houston special teams has two of its members listed as preseason favorites, as junior kick returner Tyron Carrier found his name on the 2010 Kickoff Returner Trophy list, and sophomore kicker Matt Hogan was named to the 2010 Placekicker Trophy list.
An eighth-place finisher in the 2009 Heisman Trophy balloting, Keenum returns for his senior season on the cusp of breaking every Houston, Conference USA and NCAA total offense and passing record. Last season, the Walter Camp Football Foundation named Keenum a Second-Team All-America, as he passed for 5,671 yards and 44 touchdowns in leading the Cougars to a 10-4 record and a fifth straight bowl appearance.
Keenum won the 2009 Sammy Baugh Quarterback Trophy and was a finalist for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, Manning Award and the Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year. He became only the second quarterback in NCAA history to pass for over 5,000 yards twice in a career.
Despite missing two games late in the season due to injury, Cleveland finished with a team-high 104 catches for 1,214 yards and 14 touchdowns and was named First-Team, Conference USA. Cleveland finished in the Top 5 in the nation in both receptions and receiving yards per game, and tied a UH record for most receptions in a game when he hauled in 19 passes for 241 yards and three scores in the C-USA Championship game at East Carolina.
Carrier made his mark in not only the Houston record books, but also in the NCAA annals by returning four kickoffs for touchdowns last season. Carrier finished the season averaging 29.0 yards per return, and he added 1,029 receiving yards on 91 catches, as he joined Cleveland, junior Patrick Edwards and Keenum as only the third quartet in NCAA history to register three 1,000-yard receivers with a 5,000-yard passer.
Finally, Hogan etched his name in Cougar lore when he kicked the game-winning 51-yard field goal as time expired; giving Houston an improbable come-from-behind, 46-45, win at Tulsa on Nov. 7. A Freshman All-American, Hogan nailed all 12 of his field goal attempts, and finished the year with 74 total points.
About the College Football Performance Awards: The purpose of the College Football Performance Awards is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferment in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams.
As prominent scholars from a wide variety of disciplines note, CFPA eliminates the politics and biases that vitiate balloting-based awards. Furthermore, CFPA is the only awards organization to receive praise from both Republican and Democratic White House officials for promoting objectivity and fairness in college football.
Harvard Society Fellow Andrew Zimbalist writes, "CFPA promises to set straight many of the wrongheaded, arbitrary, and exclusionary methods currently employed in FBS college football awards." Former CERN associate Lawrence Krauss notes, "CFPA may help improve the scientific literacy of generations of fans." And NSA science consultant Amy Langville adds, "CFPA is a welcome addition for fans and players demanding equity in sports awards."