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Top MAC Football Players of 2013: #43 Alex Bayer, Bowling Green TE

When an opponent's pass rush or coverage gives Matt Schilz a headache, all he needs is a Bayer to make it all better.

Courtesy BGSU Athletic Department

Another day for the MAC's Top 68 football players list, and once again, we feature a player from Bowling Green State University. This time, we look at a player who acts as a security blanket for the player we profiled yesterday, Matt Schilz. He is also a player who, it seems, has been around forever, even if he really hasn't.

Alex Bayer enters his redshirt senior season at BGSU in 2013. He is just the second tight end on our list, but anyone who has followed the recent evolution of offense in football can attest to how important the tight end position can be. The right tight end can provide important contributions in blocking and can be a match-up nightmare for linebackers and defensive backs alike when he goes out as a receiver.

Bayer is one of those tight ends that excels at both blocking and pass catching. During the 2012 season, he helped the Falcon offensive line hold opponents to just 15 sacks. When he went out on pass routes, he ended up with 36 catches, 410 yards and three touchdowns. His 36 catches ranked fourth on the team, while he was third in both yards and touchdown receptions.

Bayer had a career-best game against Akron, as he caught five passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns. That total included a 60-yard TD reception that broke a 10-10 tie. His second touchdown provided the final margin in the 24-10 victory. He also had five catches against Rhode Island and Kent State.

Since redshirting in 2009, the third-team all-MAC tight end in 2012 has played in each of BGSU's 37 games., and he has started each of the last 30. While he is not the most spectacular athlete, his size (6'4", 253) and experience allow Bayer to consistently get open, especially in the red zone. He was one of the nation's top 75 tight ends according to when he came out of North High School in Pickerington, Ohio in 2009. Ever since, he has lived up to that billing.

With Alex Bayer roaming the middle of the field and lending support to the offensive line, the BGSU offense has the glue that can hold the unit together, even during the most difficult of times.