The Washington State Cougars hadn’t put out a 1st team all-conference performer since the 2007 season, but that drought officially came to a close yesterday.
Cougar safety Deone Bucannon earned the honor by setting the bar for Pac-12 defenders in 2013, recording 109 tackles on the season. He also tied for fourth in the conference (along with wing-man Damante Horton) with five interceptions. He was also in the backfield quite a bit for the last line of defense, grabbing 4.5 tackles-for-loss. To top it off “Buck” ripped the ball three times from runners, recovered two overall fumbles and had 10 or more tackles four times.
Bucannon is the first Cougar since WR Brandon Gibson (2007) and first defender since Eric Frampton (2006) to earn 1st team status.
Four Cougs joined Bucannon on the all-conference list as honorable mentions; One freshman, WR River Cracraft and three seniors, C Elliot Bosch, K Andrew Furney and CB Damante Horton.
A former walk on, Bosch was a leader and a steady performer at the center position for WSU. He helped the Cougar offensive line cut the sack total from a national leading 57 in 2012 to the mid 20’s (26?) while Connor Halliday sat back and threw for a Cougar record 4,000 plus yards. This was the same honor Bosch received last season.
Furney received his honor after picking up second team honors in 2012. He went 15-19 on field goals this season. His career numbers of 46-60 gives him the second highest FG percentage in school history at 76.6%. The 46 makes and four 50+ yarders in his career are both third in the WSU record books. His longest ever was 60 yards (second longest in school history) against Eastern Washington last season.
Horton is back as an honorable mention after missing the call and really dropping off in 2012. He earned his first in 2011 and was back in form this season, picking off five passes and taking three to the house to set a single-season record at WSU. His four return TD’s in a career is also atop the Cougar books. He also broke up three more passes this season while grabbing 43 tackles.
Good to see these guys on the list! We’ve been pointing to Bucannon as an NFL Draft 1st round talent all season. He did everything for this team in his career and is clearly the best safety in the conference. Horton was our pick for “comeback player” of the year before the season even began and thankfully he came through, basically delivering the WSU victory at USC and helping big-time in the Utah game with that pick-6.
Bosch, well he’s just a great story as a former walk on and for the most part was seen as one of the hardest workers on the team. Then of course Furney was a fan-favorite around here. Wish he would have had a few more chances, especially one more at the end of the first half of the Apple Cup game from about 52, but he was money for the most part this season. He’ll always be remembered as the Apple Cup hero of 2012 and his delivery against USC was the biggest win of the season for WSU in 2013.
These guys are definitely a major reason why WSU is looking at a bowl berth for the first time in 10 seasons and it’s great to see them recognized.