Wednesday, November 30, 2011
English, Harnish win MAC honors
By Andrea Adelson
Eastern Michigan coach Ron English was selected MAC coach of the year after engineering a terrific turnaround, taking a program that went winless in 2009 to a 6-6 season in 2011.
Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish won the Vern Smith Leadership Award, as selected by the league coaches and given annually to the top player in the conference. Harnish also was selected the MAC offensive player of the year.
Harnish set a school single-season record with 4,043 total yards of offense as the Huskies earned a spot in the MAC title game against Ohio on Friday night.
Western Michigan defensive lineman Drew Nowak was selected defensive player of the year and Ohio kicker Matt Weller was selected special teams player of the year. Bowling Green running back Anthon Samuel was named freshman of the year.
English, in his third year at Eastern Michigan, went 2-22 in his first two seasons with the Golden Eagles. But this year, Eastern Michigan went 6-6 overall and 4-4 in conference play. Eastern Michigan had the third-best defense in the MAC and the fourth-best rushing offense.
Nowak tied for the lead in the MAC with 8.5 sacks and ranked second with 20 tackles for loss. He had 83 tackles this year.
Weller leads the conference with 22 field goals and his long of 49 yards is tied for the longest field goal made by any kicker in the conference this season.
Samuel rushed 144 times for 844 yards and five rushing touchdowns. His 844 yards rushing set a school record for the most rushing yards by a freshman.
Toledo led the way with five first-team selections. You can check out all the first, second and third-team selections here.
2011 All-MAC First Team Offense
QB: Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois
C: Scott Wedige, Northern Illinois
OL: Mike VanDerMeulen, Toledo
OL: Trevor Olson, Northern Illinois
OL: Joe Flading, Ohio
OL: Pat Boyle, Temple
TE: Evan Rodriquez, Temple
WR: Jordan White, Western Michigan
WR: Eric Page, Toledo
WR: Nick Harwell, Miami (Ohio)
WR: Kamar Jorden, Bowling Green
RB: Bernard Pierce, Temple
RB: Branden Oliver, Buffalo
PK: Mathew Sims, Northern Illinois
2011 All-MAC First Team Defense
OLB: Aaron Morris, Ball State
OLB: Khalil Mack, Buffalo
ILB: Brian Wagner, Akron
ILB: Dwayne Woods, Bowling Green
DL: Roosevelt Nix, Kent State
DL: Adrian Robinson, Temple
DL: Chris Jones, Bowling Green
DL: Drew Nowak, Western Michigan
DB: Jahleel Addae, Central Michigan
DB: Dayonne Nunley, Miami (Ohio)
DB: Desmond Marrow, Toledo
DB: Sean Baker, Ball State
P: Brian Schmeidebusch, Bowling Green
2011 All-MAC First Team Specialists
KR: Eric Page, Toledo
PR: Eric Page, Toledo