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2018 All-MAC Teams Revealed

Conference players of the year, Tyree Jackson and Sutton Smith, headline the best of the Midwest.

Buffalo v Rutgers Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, MAC Sports’ official website announced the 2018 All-MAC teams.

Headlining the teams are Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson, recognized as the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year and Northern Illinois defensive end Sutton Smith, the MAC Defensive Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season.

Jackson has passed for 2,605 yards while accumulating 32 touchdowns to lead the Bulls to a program-best 10-2 record. Smith, a 2017 AP All-American and the FBS’s reigning sacks leader, has followed up his brilliant sophomore campaign with 13.0 sacks (fourth in FBS), four forced fumbles, and two touchdowns in 2018. The two will square off on opposite sides of the ball in this Friday night’s MAC Championship Game in Detroit.

Other notable awards include the Vern Smith Leadership Award, which is bestowed upon the best overall player in the MAC. Voted by the coaches in the conference, Sutton Smith became the first defensive player to receive this honor since 2008. He is the first Northern Illinois player to earn the Vern Smith Leadership Award since Jordan Lynch in 2013. This award frequently visits DeKalb, as Smith became the fifth Huskie this decade to win conference MVP (2010 Chad Spann, 2011 Chandler Harnish, 2012 Jordan Lynch, 2013 Jordan Lynch).

MAC Freshman of the Year was rewarded to Buffalo running back Jaret Patterson, who rose onto the scene with 874 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns (second among FBS freshmen) in his first collegiate season. Toledo wide receiver Diontae Johnson was honored as the Special Teams Player of the Year for his kick and punt return duties. The electric specialist returned kicks for an average of 25.8 yards and punts for an average of 18.3 yards and finished with two special teams touchdowns as a junior.

Coach of the Year belongs to Buffalo’s Lance Leipold, who has seen the program’s objectives come to fruition in his fourth season at the helm. The former Division III mastermind led the Bulls to their first-ever double-digit win season and first MAC Championship appearance since 2008.

With Jackson and Smith leading the charge, the All-MAC teams are below:

First Team


QB - Tyree Jackson, Buffalo

RB - LeVante Bellamy, Western Michigan

RB - A.J. Ouellette, Ohio

WR - Anthony Johnson, Buffalo

WR - Diontae Johnson, Toledo

WR - Cody Thompson, Toledo

WR - Papi White, Ohio

TE - Tyler Mabry, Buffalo

OL - Max Scharping, Northern Illinois

OL - Luke Juriga, Western Michigan

OL - Joe Lowery, Ohio

OL - James O’Hagan, Buffalo

OL - Joe Anderson, Ohio


DL - Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois

DL - Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan

DL - Mike Danna, Central Michigan

DL - Chuck Harris, Buffalo

ILB - Khalil Hodge, Buffalo

ILB - Malik Fountain, Central Michigan

OLB - Brad Koenig, Miami (OH)

OLB - Antonio Jones-Davis, Northern Illinois

DB - Alvin Davis, Akron

DB - Sean Bunting, Central Michigan

DB - Javon Hagan, Ohio

DB - Xavier Crawford, Central Michigan

Special Teams

K - Matt Trickett, Kent State

P - Michael Farkas, Ohio

KR - Maurice Thomas, Miami (OH)

PR - Diontae Johnson, Toledo

Second Team


QB - Nathan Rourke, Ohio

RB - Tre Harbison, Northern Illinois

RB - Jaret Patterson, Buffalo

WR - K.J. Osborn, Buffalo

WR - Scott Miller, Bowling Green

WR - Jayden Reed, Western Michigan

WR - Riley Miller, Ball State

TE - Reggie Gilliam, Toledo

OL - John Keenoy, Western Michigan

OL - Bryce Harris, Toledo

OL - Luke Shively, Northern Illinois

OL - Durrell Wood, Ohio

OL - Evin Ksiezarczyk, Buffalo


DL - Josh Corcoran, Northern Illinois

DL - Jamal Davis, Akron

DL - Kalil Morris, Kent State

DL - Doug Costin, Miami (OH)

ILB - Kyle Pugh, Northern Illinois

ILB - Kyle Rachwal, Eastern Michigan

OLB - Evan Croutch, Ohio

OLB - Ulysees Gilbert III, Akron

DB - Cameron Lewis, Buffalo

DB - Kevin McGill, Eastern Michigan

DB - Mykelti Williams, Northern Illinois

DB - Kyron Brown, Akron

Special Teams

K - Ryan Tice, Central Michigan

P - Jake Julien, Eastern Michigan

KR - Diontae Johnson, Toledo

PR - Jayden Reed, Western Michigan

Third Team


QB - Gus Ragland, Miami (OH)

RB - Andrew Clair, Bowling Green

RB - Jamauri Bogan, Western Michigan

WR - Blake Banham, Eastern Michigan

WR - Justin Hall, Ball State

WR - Jon’Vea Johnson, Toledo

WR - Jack Sorenson, Miami (OH)

TE - Giovanni Ricci, Western Michigan

OL - Jimmy Leatiota, Eastern Michigan

OL - Danny Godlevske, Miami (OH)

OL - Steve Nielsen, Eastern Michigan

OL - Jack Kramer, Bowling Green

OL - Jordan Rigg, Miami (OH)


DL - Tuzar Skipper, Toledo

DL - Jack Heflin, Northern Illinois

DL - Jeremiah Harris, Eastern Michigan

DL - Nate Brisson-Fast, Central Michigan

ILB - Brian Bell, Akron

ILB - Jacob White, Ball State

OLB - John Lako, Akron

OLB - Christian Albright, Ball State

DB - Marcus Milton, Bowling Green

DB - Vince Calhoun, Eastern Michigan

DB - Brody Hoying, Eastern Michigan

DB - Josh Teachey, Toledo

Special Teams

K - Jameson Vest, Toledo

P - Kyle Kramer, Miami (OH)

KR - Malik Dunner, Ball State

PR - K.J. Osborn, Buffalo

The breakdown by teams — Total Selections (First, Second, Third):

Buffalo — 11 (6, 4, 1)

Toledo — 10 (3, 3, 4)

Eastern Michigan — 10 (1, 3, 6)

Ohio — 9 (6, 3, 0)

Northern Illinois — 9 (3, 5, 1)

Miami (OH) — 8 (2, 1, 5)

Western Michigan — 7 (2, 3, 2)

Central Michigan — 6 (4, 1, 1)

Akron — 6 (1, 3, 2)

Ball State — 5 (0, 1, 4)

Bowling Green — 4 (0, 1, 3)

Kent State — 2 (1, 1, 0)


  • Buffalo and Ohio tied for the most First Teamers, but the Bulls led all MAC teams with a total of 11 selections
  • Northern Illinois OT Max Scharping is the only player on the list to appear on the All-MAC First Team three times
  • Toledo WR/RS Diontae Johnson appears on the list three times, qualifying for First Team All-MAC as a receiver and punt returner, while earning Second Team honors as a kick returner
  • Buffalo WR/RS K.J. Osborn and Western Michigan WR/RS Jayden Reed are among the other players that received multiple selections, both as a wide receiver and punt returner
  • There are 38 All-MAC selections that were on last year’s teams and eight players earned First Team All-MAC selections for their second time, per MAC Sports