Cheney Free Press -

T.J. Lee three-peats as member of All-Big Sky team


T.J. Lee III

Little did his parents know that T.J. Lee III would stand for three-peat.

The Eastern Washington University cornerback headlined a list of 25 Eagles honored on the All-Big Sky Conference team Nov. 26 by earning first team honors for the third-straight season.

The 2009 graduate of West Seattle High School became only the third Eagle in school history – and the first on defense -- to accomplish that feat. In fact, only 45 total players in the 50-year history of the league have earned three first team accolades, as well as another three who have four-peated.

Also named to the first team for the Eagles were unanimous selections Vernon Adams (quarterback) and Cooper Kupp (wide receiver), as well as Ashton Miller (center) and Bo Schuetzle (special teams). Adams and Kupp were selected first team on all 12 ballots to earn the league's only unanimous honors, and were also the league's Offensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, respectively.

Named to the second team were Ronnie Hamlin (outside linebacker), Ashton Clark (wide receiver), Steven Forgette (offensive guard), Clay DeBord (offensive tackle) and Andru Pulu (defensive tackle). Third team selections were Zack Gehring (tight end), Quincy Forte (running back), Anthony Larry (defensive end) and Tevin McDonald (safety).

Another 11 Eagles earned honorable mention - Shaq Hill (wide receiver), Cory Mitchell (wide receiver), Cassidy Curtis (offensive tackle), Brandon Murphy (offensive guard), Will Katoa (defensive tackle), Dylan Zylstra (defensive tackle), Evan Day (defensive end), Cody McCarthy (inside linebacker), Allen Brown (safety), Ronald Baines (cornerback) and Kevin Miller (kicker).

The only other players in school history to be honored on the first team three times are offensive lineman Harold Fox (1992-93-94) and return specialist Lamont Brightful (1999-2000-01).

"T.J. has been incredible," Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin said. "In this conference with such a rich history and the competition you are up against every week -- and the competition that exists for these awards -- to be recognized as a three-time first team All-Big Sky player is hard to do. He's gone out and earned it. He's second on our team in tackles and cornerbacks don't usually make a lot of tackles."


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