Ellerbee, Martin and McGaskey Honored by Phil Steele
All-Conference USA squad
By Chuck Pool (cpool@Rice.edu) -
Ellerbee was named to the first team, McGaskey to the second and Martin to the third team. All three players were previously honored by C-USA coaches, with Ellerbee being named to their first team and McGaskey and Martin honorable mention.
In his first year as a starter, Ellerbee led C-USA and Rice with 10.7 tackles per game, good enough for sixth nationally. His average is the highest by an Owl since Larry Izzo averaged 11 tackles per game in 1995 (122 in 11 games). Despite missing one game because of an injury, his 118 total tackles are second in conference and match Brian Raines’ 2006 total for the 10th most in school history. His 70 solo tackles are tied for seventh in the nation.
He finished his junior season with a 14-tackle effort at Stanford, his seventh double-digit tackle game this year and the most double-digit tackle games since Izzo recorded seven in 1995. He combined with Lyons for 209, the most for a duo at Rice since Izzo (122) and Jay Lamy (97) combined f or 219 in 1995.
McGaskey opened the way for Ellerbee’s breakout year by switching from linebacker to strong safety this year and the senior from Dallas thrived in in his new assignment, leading the team with a career-high 11 tackles for loss and six pass breakups.
Martin has been a two-year starter on the offensive line and took over at center this year. He missed three games in the middle of the year with an injury, but sparked a late-season surge when he returned to the lineup for the final four games.