Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina freshman tight end Owen Cosenke has been selected to Phil Steele's 2017 FCS Freshman All-America second team announced this week.
Behind a pair of upperclassmen in the 2017 preseason, Cosenke quickly climbed the depth chart and made his first career start in his collegiate debut in the season-opener at Hawai'i. The Aldie, Va., native responded with the first three catches of his career, finishing with 28 yards against the NCAA FBS-member Rainbow Warriors.
On the season, Cosenke caught passes in six of the 10 games in which he saw action. He finished with nine receptions for 82 yards and his first collegiate touchdown -- a three-yard scoring strike from Tyrie Adams in the third quarter of the home victory over ETSU in mid-October. Equally as important was Cosenke's role in WCU's rushing attack where he was a part of a Catamount offense that saw Detrez Newsome post his third-consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season.
A total of seven Freshman All-America selections came from the Southern Conference and included first team selections in Chattanooga OL Cole Strange, and two linemen from The Citadel in Jonathan Cole and Jon Barrett Lewis. Cosenke was joined on the second team offense by Furman OL Reed Kroeber and Samford OL Mike Williams, while Furman LB Reynard Ellis was the lone defensive player selected on either team, garnering a second team nod.
Phil Steele also released its 2017 Postseason All-Southern Conference teams with 14 Catamounts gracing the publications lists. Senior RB Detrez Newsome highlighted five first team selections that included redshirt WR Terryon Robinson also on the offensive side, with senior LB Tahjai Watt and junior DB Marvin Tillman selected to the defense, and redshirt junior P Ian Berryman as a specialist.
Five additional Catamounts landed on the second team with redshirt sophomore QB Tyrie Adams, redshirt senior WR Steffon Hill, and redshirt junior OL Zach Weeks each tabbed on offense. Those three were joined by senior LB A.J. Newman was selected on defense and rounded out by senior Tra Hardy as the kick return specialist. Four third team selections were led by junior OL Andrew Miles, with sophomore DL Nate Link, redshirt senior LB Daniel Riddle, and senior DB Keion Crossen selected on defense.
WCU returns six of the aforementioned players for next fall. Preparations for next season gear-up in mid-to-late February when seventh-year head coach Mark Speir and his squad commence annual spring drills in Cullowhee.