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Benjamin, Spence, Robinson Receive All-Freshman Honors

Dec. 17, 2008

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Three University of Miami football players were selected to the inaugural Phil Steele All-Freshman Team released Wednesday.

Punt returner Travis Benjamin was one of only two Atlantic Coast Conference players to be named to the first team. Also honored was linebacker Sean Spence – a second team selection – and defensive end Marcus Robinson, who was selected to the third team.

Benjamin leads the team in punt return yardage (173), kick return yardage (477) and yards per reception (17.2) while ranking second in all-purpose yards (968) and touchdowns (4) despite missing most of the last three games with an ankle injury. His 274 all-purpose yards against Florida State were the most by a Hurricane since Edgerrin James had 310 all-purpose yards (299 rushing, 11 receiving) against UCLA in 1998. Benjamin ranked in the Top 10 in the ACC in all-purpose yardage. He ranks 25th nationally in punt return average (11.5), and ninth in the ACC and 74th nationally in kick return average (22.71).

Spence, who has already been named Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Rookie of the Year in addition to earning All-Freshman honors by Sporting News and, finished third on the team during the regular season with 62 total tackles. He started eight of the 12 games he played in and led all Miami linebackers with 7.5 tackles for loss. Spence returned his first career interception for a touchdown against Florida State and forced a fumble in the final minutes of regulation at Virginia which helped the Hurricanes to an overtime win. He posted a career-high 10 tackles against Florida State and had five or more tackles in eight games. He also registered two sacks with his first career sack coming at Florida.

Robinson, who recorded just nine tackles in the season’s first nine games, has tallied a team-high 24 total tackles in UM’s last three games, including a career-high 10 against NC State in the regular season finale. In addition to averaging 8.0 tackles per game since UM’s Nov. 13 game against Virginia Tech, Robinson leads the team in tackles for a loss (7.0), sacks (4.0) and quarterback hurries (2) over that span. For the season, he’s totaled 33 tackles (22 solo, 11 assisted) and is tied for the team-lead with nine tackles for loss and ranks second on the team in sacks (4.0). He was also named first team All-Freshman by