Football: Lewis, Romeus and Williams earn Big East Player of the Year honors

By Jay Huerbin

In case you didn’t hear, true freshman Dion Lewis had quite the year as Pitt’s running back… In case you didn’t hear, true freshman Dion Lewis had quite the year as Pitt’s running back this season.

Lewis had no problems breaking LeSean McCoy’s Pitt — and Big East — freshman record of 15 touchdowns and 90 points, which he set in 2007. Lewis finished the regular season with 17 touchdowns and 102 points. And he is just 46 yards shy of breaking Tony Dorsett’s Panthers rushing record of 1,686 yards.

And now Lewis can add Big East Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year to his first-year accomplishments. He is the first player to earn both of those honors since Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick did it in 1999.

Lewis, who leads the Big East in rushing and ranks third in the nation in rushing yards per game (136.67), joined two other Panthers who earned conference player of the year honors.

Junior defensive end Greg Romeus and senior defensive tackle Mick Williams were named Co-Defensive Players of the Year.

Romeus finished the regular season with 40 tackles, including 10.5 for a loss and eight sacks. He forced two fumbles, came down with an interception, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick.

Williams averaged 1.25 tackles for a loss per game in the regular season, putting him second in the conference. He has 39 tackles, 15 for a loss, three sacks and three forced fumbles this season.

Romeus and Williams are the first duo to ever share the Big East Defensive Player of the Year award.

The Panthers also had 14 players named to the All-Big East Team, which is the most in Pitt history. All awards, honors and Big East team selections are decided by a vote of the league coaches.

Pitt’s 2009 All-Big East Team Members:

First Team

Jonathan Baldwin, WR

Aaron Berry, CB

Dorin Dickerson, TE

Adam Gunn, LB

Dion Lewis, RB (unanimous)

John Malecki, OG

Jason Pinkston, OT

Greg Romeus, DE (unanimous)

Bill Stull, QB (co-first team with Cincinnati’s Tony Pike)

Mick Williams, DT

Second Team

Nate Byham, TE

Dom DeCicco, S

Dan Hutchins, PK

Gus Mustakas, DT