Three VU players earn SEC All-Freshman honors at four spots

Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 5:13pm

After twice being named the Southeastern Conference’s top freshman earlier in the week, Vanderbilt’s Warren Norman secured two spots on the league’s 2009 All-Freshman team, the conference office announced Thursday.

Norman earned spots as both a running back and a return specialist in voting by the league coaches. Two other Commodores, left tackle Ryan Seymour and kicker Ryan Fowler, also were named to the team. Fowler, who tied the school record for field goals in a single season, was one of four unanimous selections.

Last season four VU players were named All-Freshman. The last time the program had at least three earn that distinction in back-to-back years was 2002 and 2003, a period which included quarterback Jay Cutler and linebacker Moses Osemwegie.

“As first-year players, these guys did a tremendous job for the Commodores,” coach Bobby Johnson said in a release by the university. “Each is deserving of this recognition. I’m also proud that each one of them seemed to get better with each week. They were playing their best football in the closing weeks of the season.”

Norman’s inclusion at two spots capped a week in which he collected a host of honors. On Monday, The Associated Press named him SEC Freshman of the Year, and on Wednesday the conference coaches named him their Freshman of the Year. On Tuesday, he was named to the All-SEC second team as a return specialist.

He led the SEC with an average of 161.8 all-purpose yards per game. He also became the first player in conference history to return three kickoffs for touchdowns in the same season and the first to top 1,000 kickoff return yards in a season. His team-high 783 rushing yards were the most among any conference freshmen.

Fowler made 16 of 21 field goal attempts, including 11 of his last 12, and finished with 68 points, tied for the fifth-highest single-season total by a VU kicker.

Seymour, a defensive lineman during his redshirt season, started or played extensively in each of the final five games when starter Thomas Welch was injured.