Eight UConn players were honored on the All-Big East team on Thursday.
On the first team were defensive end Trevardo Williams and linebackers Sio Moore and Yawin Smallwood. Taking home honors on the second team were corners Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Dwayne Gratz as well as guard Adam Masters and tight end Ryan Griffin. Kick returner Nick Williams was also a second team pick.
Teddy Bridgewater was offensive player of the year while Rutgers' Khaseem Greene was defensive player of the year. Louisville coach Charlie Strong and Rutgers coach Kyle Flood were co-coaches of the year.
Here's the full release.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – University of Connecticut senior defensive end Trevardo Williams (Bridgeport, Conn.) was honored as a unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST First Team, released by the conference on Thursday morning. Joining Williams on the First Team defense are redshirt senior linebacker Sio Moore (Apex, N.C.) and redshirt sophomore linebacker Yawin Smallwood (Worcester, Mass.).
Overall, eight Huskies were honored with selections to the All-BIG EAST squads. On offense, redshirt senior guard Adam Masters (Bethesda, Md.) and redshirt senior tight end Ryan Griffin (Londonderry, N.H.) were named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team along with senior wide receiver Nick Williams (Windsor, N.J.), representing the Huskies as a return specialist.
Redshirt seniors Dwayne Gratz (Piscataway, N.J.) and Blidi Wreh-Wilson (Edinboro, Pa.) were selected as the cornerbacks on the All-BIG EAST Second Team defense.
Trevardo Williams, a Second Team selection a year ago, totaled a team-high 11.5 sacks and led the league with 0.96 sacks per game. He finished his four year career at UConn as the all-time leaders in sacks with 30.5. Williams was also third on the team with 13.5 tackles for loss and ranked tied for fourth in the BIG EAST with 1.12 per game.
Moore, playing at outside linebacker, and Smallwood, at inside linebacker, formed a tough linebacking unit for the UConn defense this season. Moore finished second on the team with eight sacks and second in the league with 0.67 per game. He was also first on the team with 15.5 TFLs and second in the league with a 1.29 average, while Smallwood was second on the team at 15.0 and third in the league at 1.25. Smallwood also led the Huskies with 120 total tackles, averaging 10.0 per game, good enough for third best in the league.
Masters earned the nod to the Second Team, despite playing just seven games this season; all starts at right guard. He started 30 games over the course of his career, playing in 37 overall.
For Griffin, it is his second straight season being named the Second Team tight end. He caught 29 passes in his final season for 484 yards, averaging 16.7 yards per reception. Griffin caught his team-leading sixth touchdown pass of the season on a career-long 74 yard reception against Cincinnati last Saturday. His 116 career receptions ranks 10th all-time at Connecticut and are the second most among tight ends, while his 1,500 yards are 12th overall and second for a tight end. For his career, Griffin caught 10 touchdown passes, which ties him for second most among tight ends and his six this season also ties him for second most in a single season.
Nick Williams was perhaps the most versatile weapon for the UConn offense this season, but made his biggest impact on special teams. On 21 punt returns, he averaged 12.0 yards per return and scored two touchdowns, including a career-long 80-yard return in a win over Pittsburgh (Nov. 9). He also ran back a 58-yard return for a score in a win at Maryland (Sep. 15). On kick returns, Williams ran back 24 kick-offs for an average of 20.4 per return, ranking fourth in the league. In his career, he also ran back a pair of kick returns for touchdowns, making him the only player in program history with two punt and kick returns for a touchdown. Williams’ 2,045 career kick return yards are the most in UConn history and his 25.9 average ranks second.
Williams also caught 30 passes for 334 yards and ran the ball 10 times for 40 yards, including a three-yard score in a win at No. 18 Louisville (Nov. 24). He ranked 10th in the BIG EAST for all-purpose yards at 93.0 per game.
In the secondary, Gratz, a repeat Second Team selection, and Wreh-Wilson were mainstays over their four year careers. Gratz started 41 games, while Wreh-Wilson started 39. Gratz led the Connecticut defense with three interceptions this season, including a 37-yard pick returned for a touchdown in the season opening win over Massachusetts (Aug. 30). For his career, he totaled eight interceptions for 152 return yards, including a 46-yard interception return for a touchdown against Oklahoma in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl.
Wreh-Wilson picked off one pass in his final season and it came in the third overtime of the win at Louisville to set up UConn’s game-winning field goal. He too collected eight career interceptions, totaling 171 return yards and ran back a pair for scores in 2010.