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Dec. 20, 2006

Harrisonburg, Va. – Six University of Virginia football players, including five first-teamers, have been selected to the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association (VaSID) All-State team.

Senior cornerback Marcus Hamilton highlights the five Cavaliers named to the first team. He is one of only four players on defense to repeat from last year. One of the top cover corners in the ACC he ranked third in the league with five interceptions and earned second-team All-ACC honors. He also broke up four passes and averaged 3.5 tackles per game. Hamilton finished his career tied for third in UVa history with 15 interceptions.

Redshirt freshman defensive end Jeffrey Fitzgerald was named to the first team and voted the state’s Rookie of the Year. He started all 12 games and averaged 5.3 tackles per game this season, tops in the nation among freshmen linemen and 18th among all freshmen. He also led the team with six sacks, the third most by a UVa freshmen, and ranked third nationally among freshmen. Fitzgerald was chosen as a first-team Freshman All-American by The Sporting News and

Junior defensive end Chris Long had a breakout season this fall and joined Hamilton on the first team. Long finished fourth among ACC defensive linemen in tackling with an average of 4.8 tackles per game and was a second-team All-ACC choice. He led the Cavaliers with 12 tackles for loss and 21 quarterback pressures, while also finishing with five sacks.

Virginia improved from 60th in the country in total defense last season to 20th this year and allowed an average of 289.5 yards per game, the fewest yards allowed since 1979.

Sophomore guard Branden Albert was UVa’s only offensive lineman named to the first team. He was the team’s leading offensive lineman despite being just a sophomore and started all 12 games for the second year in a row. An honorable mention All-ACC choice this season, he allowed only one sack all season and was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week following a 14-7 win over NC State.

Junior tight end Tom Santi joins Albert on the first-team offense. He finished second on the team with a career-high 29 receptions for 253 yards and one touchdown and ranked fourth among ACC tight ends in receptions. Santi caught seven passes against Pittsburgh and Western Michigan when he was the team’s leading receiver.

Sophomore wide receiver Kevin Ogletree was the only Cavalier named to the second team. He moved into a significant role following an injury to starter Deyon Williams and responded with a huge year–52 catches for 582 yards and four touchdowns. all team leading numbers. He ranked third in the ACC in receiving and seventh in receiving yards and became just the ninth player in school history to catch 50 passes in a season.

Virginia Tech tailback Branden Ore was voted the state offensive player of the year, while James Madison linebacker Akeem Jordan was named the state defensive player of the year. Hampton’s Joe Taylor was selected the state coach of the year.

James Madison led the overall voting with 12 players named to the two all-state teams (50 overall selections). Virginia Tech had 11 selections, Hampton eight, UVa six, Liberty five, Richmond four, VMI two and Norfolk State and William & Mary one each.

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