MIAMI (December 5, 2017) – A total of 11 members of the FIU football team have been recognized by Conference USA, including First-Team All-C-USA selection WR Thomas Owens, and second team selections OL Jordan Budwig, DE Fermin Silva, LB Anthony Wint and DB Brad Muhammad, as the league announced its all-conference football teams on Tuesday. Also recognized were: QB Alex McGough, RB Alex Gardner, TE Pharoah McKever, LB Treyvon Williams, DB Bryce Canady and K Jose Borregales as all-conference honorable mention selections, as selected by the league’s 13 head football coaches.
Despite having his season cut short with a knee injury, Owens, a senior, continues to lead FIU in receiving with 59 catches for 887 yards and six touchdowns in nine games, with his reception and receiving yards totals marking career highs. The Boynton Beach, Florida native recorded four-consecutive 100-yard games, against Charlotte (7-for-101) on Sept. 30, Middle Tennessee (11-for-162) on Oct. 7, Tulane (6-for-162) on Oct. 14 and Marshall (7-for-114) on Oct. 28. His 162 yards against Middle Tennessee fell just four yards shy of his career-high. Owens also tied his career-high with 11 receptions against the Blue Raiders and Old Dominion on Nov. 11.
A second-team selection at offensive guard, Budwig, a senior, returned to the gridiron to start every game for the Panthers following a shoulder injury that sidelined him for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He has played 691 snaps and allowed just one sack and committed just four penalties, and has helped the FIU offensive line allow just 22 sacks this season which is fifth best in C-USA. In addition, Budwig helped the Panthers’s running game rush for 1,480 yards and 4.0 yards-per-carry. The 4.4 yards per carry is currently the second highest in FIU’s 16-year history.
Silva, a junior, a second-team selection at defensive end, is the team leader in tackles-for-loss (14.5), sacks (7.0) and quarterback hurries (6) while also racking up 45 tackles. He also shares fourth in C-USA in tackles-for-loss, and has recorded tackles-for-loss in five of FIU’s last seven games. Silva has three multi-TFL games with three tackles for loss against both Tulane on Oct. 14 and Alcorn on Sept. 9, and two tackles for loss against UCF on Aug. 31 and WKU on Nov. 24. Silva earned C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors after tallying eight tackles, three tackles-for-loss, two sacks and four quarterback hurries in the win over Tulane.
Wint a senior, and a second-team selection at linebacker, is second on the team in total tackles with 81, including 54 solo, and is fourth in tackles-for-loss (7.0). The Homestead, Florida native also ranks in the top 10 in tackles (60) in conference games and top 15 in overall games in tackles (81). Wint, who is currently one of three Panthers to record 300 career tackles and is second all-time at FIU in career tackles with 325, has four games with 10 or more tackles including a season-best 12 tackles in the win over UTSA on Nov. 4.
Muhammad, a senior, rounds out FIU’s second-team selections after posting a career-year for the Panthers. A walk-on until he earned a scholarship prior to the 2017 campaign, Muhammad currently leads the team in interceptions with four – which is also good enough for a share of fourth in Conference USA – including one returned for a touchdown against Marshall in FIU’s win on Oct. 28. His four interceptions are one shy of the single-season record at FIU. He also has broken up five passes which is tied for second on the team and 12th in C-USA. In addition, he is sixth on the team in tackles with 51, with 41 unassisted. Muhammad earned C-USA Player of the Week honors after setting a career-high with 10 tackles and two interceptions in the road win at Marshall.
McGough, a senior, is one of six FIU players to earn Honorable Mention All-Conference honors. He is currently FIU’s all-time career leader in touchdown passes (66) and second in career completions (805) and passing yards (9,084). He has completed 231-of-354 passes for 2,791 yards with 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2017, while recording a career-best 65.3 percent passing mark. McGough also ranks in the top five in C-USA in passing yards per game (232.6) and passing efficiency (142.8). Not only has McGough found the end zone through the air, but he has matched a career-high with four rushing touchdowns of his own.
Gardner, a senior, and FIU’s all-time leading rusher, has rushed for 765 yards and six touchdowns on 171 carries, which is tops on the team this season. He also has averaged 4.5 yards-per-carry in 2017. Gardner has led, or shared, team-high rushing honors in seven of the Panthers’s 12 games this season, including a season-high 108 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns in the win against UMass on Dec. 2. Also ran for 102 yards on 20 carries in the victory over Alcorn on Sept. 9.
McKever, a graduate transfer, is FIU’s leader among tight ends with 26 receptions for 294 yards and three touchdowns in 2017. He has caught a season-high four passes in four different games this season at Middle Tennessee on Oct. 7, at Marshall on Oct. 28, Old Dominion on Nov. 11 and at Florida Atlantic on Nov. 18. McKever scored FIU’s lone TD in 13-7 win over Rice on Sept. 23 and recorded a season-high 43 yards against FAU.
Williams, a senior, who earned honorable mention honors at linebacker, currently leads the team in tackles with 82, including 58 solo. In addition, Williams is second on the team in tackles-for-loss (8) and third in sacks (3). The Miami native has recorded three games with at least 10 tackles including a season-high 14 tackles against UCF on Aug. 31. His 82 tackles in 2017 moved him into fifth place all-time at FIU with 289 career tackles.
Canady, a senior, ranks third on the team in tackles (60) and has seven tackles-for-loss and a sack. He is also the team leader in pass breakups with seven and also has a fumble recovery and quarterback hurry to his credit. Canady, who started all 10 games for the Panthers after having played just three games in 2016 as a walk-on and registering no tackles, posted a career-high nine tackles at Middle Tennessee on Oct. 7.
Borregales, a redshirt freshman, leads the Panthers in scoring with 82 points on the year which also ranks ninth in Conference USA. He has connected on 14-of-16 field goals and is a perfect 40-of-40 in point after touchdowns, making him just one of three kickers in C-USA that post a perfect PAT kick percentage. Borregales, whose 14 made field goals is third all-time in a single season at FIU, made 10 consecutive field goals from Sept. 8 – Oct, 28, which is the second-best streak in school history.