July 24, 2006
Houston, Texas - For the second time this summer, University of Houston senior quarterback Kevin Kolb has been selected as the Conference USA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, this time by the conference head coaches.
As a team, the Cougars were picked to finish in third place in the West Division, trailing Tulsa, who captured the inaugural C-USA Championship game, and UTEP, who is coming off back-to-back postseason bowl berths. SMU, Tulane and Rice round out the division.
Joining Kolb in the preseason accolades is his top target, senior wide receiver Vincent Marshall. Both Kolb and Marshall were named to the preseason all-conference team.
A 2006 Heisman Trophy candidate, Kolb enters his senior season this fall as one of the nation's top offensive stars. Kolb has started 36 straight games, which is number one in the nation among Division I-A quarterbacks. A preseason selection by The Sporting News as its Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year, Kolb enters the 2006 season with 9,155 passing yards as well as 9,752 yards of total offense, numbers that rank him No. 1 among active career leaders.
Kolb passed for a career-best 3,258 yards last season en route to being selected Third Team, All-Conference USA. In 2005, Kolb passed David Klingler as the school's all-time leader in total offense and is on the verge of owning all the UH passing/total offense numbers. Kolb has been named to the Maxwell Award Watch List and been invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game in January, 2007.
A First-Team, All-C-USA selection as a wide receiver and a Third-Team pick as a punt returner, Marshall starts the 2006 season on a 36-game reception streak, and like Kolb, is the nation's #1 career returning leader in receptions (192) and yards (2,791). The Kolb-to-Marshall connection is the best returning passing-receiving tandem in Division I-A.
UCF was slated to win the East Division followed by Southern Miss, Memphis, Marshall, UAB and East Carolina. UAB defensive end Larry McSwain was picked as the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, while Southern Miss kicker Darren McCaleb was honored with the special teams hardware.