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Three Panthers selected to midseason All-America teams - The Pitt News

The Pitt News

Three Panthers selected to midseason All-America teams

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Ejuan Price (5) leads the nation in sacks per game and is third in tackles for loss per game. Jeff Ahearn | Senior Staff Photographer

Ejuan Price (5) leads the nation in sacks per game and is third in tackles for loss per game. Jeff Ahearn | Senior Staff Photographer

Ejuan Price (5) leads the nation in sacks per game and is third in tackles for loss per game. Jeff Ahearn | Senior Staff Photographer

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

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Football is a game of three phases –– offense, defense and special teams. This week, players on Pitt’s football team were recognized for excellence in all three.

Senior defensive end Ejuan Price, sophomore wide receiver/kick returner Quadree Henderson and senior offensive tackle Dorian Johnson received midseason All-America honors from multiple publications on Tuesday and Wednesday after helping lead Pitt to a 5-2 start.

All three Panthers earned a spot on SI.com’s midseason All-American team, with Henderson and Johnson making the first team and Price making the second. Price and Henderson also made the 27-member teams selected by Sporting News and CBSSports.com Tuesday.

USA Today released its 26-player team featuring Price and Henderson on Wednesday, and Johnson appeared on ESPN’s 25-member team, which didn’t include a return specialist.

Following a first-team All-ACC performance in 2015, Price has been even more dominant to start in the 2016 season. Three out of four analysts from Athlon Sports chose him as the mid-season favorite to win ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

Price, a sixth-year senior from Rankin, Pennsylvania, leads the nation with 1.29 sacks per game and ranks third with 1.9 tackles for loss per game. Both marks are tops in the ACC, and he also ranks fifth in the conference with three forced fumbles.

Quadree Henderson is the only player in college football with multiple kick return touchdowns in 2016. Jeff Ahearn | Senior Staff Photographer.

Quadree Henderson is the only player in college football with multiple kick return touchdowns in 2016. Jeff Ahearn | Senior Staff Photographer.

Henderson, who has been one of the most dynamic players in college football in 2016, made all four midseason All-American teams as a return specialist.

The sophomore leads the ACC and is third in the NCAA with an average of 35.9 yards per kickoff return, and he is the only player in the country with two kick-return touchdowns. His 12.4 yards-per-punt return average is good for fifth in the ACC and 12th in the NCAA, and he ranks second in the ACC and seventh in the NCAA with 172.9 all-purpose yards per game.

Dorian Johnson (53) has started 33 consecutive games at left guard for the Panthers. Jeff Ahearn | Senior Staff Photgrapher

Dorian Johnson (53) has started 33 consecutive games at left guard for the Panthers. Jeff Ahearn | Senior Staff Photgrapher

Johnson, a preseason All-America selection at offensive guard by ESPN, received the midseason accolade from ESPN and SI.com.

A 6-foot-5, 315-pound senior from Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, Johnson has started at left guard in 33 straight games and helped pave the way for the Panthers’ steady ground attack. Pitt ranks 19th in the country with an average of 239.1 yards rushing per game, and the team has now rushed for over 200 yards in six straight games.

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Three Panthers selected to midseason All-America teams