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2023 All-MAC Teams and Individual Awards Revealed

Toledo racks up 14 All-MAC selections, including the conference’s MVP Dequan Finn and Offensive Player of the Year Peny Boone.

RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl - Liberty v Toledo Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

The 2023 All-MAC teams and individual awards were revealed by the conference on Wednesday, three days prior to the annual MAC Championship Game in Detroit.


Individual Awards

The individual awards were voted on by the MAC’s 12 head coaches:

  • Vern Smith Leadership Award (MAC MVP): Dequan Finn, QB, Toledo
  • MAC Offensive Player of the Year: Peny Boone, RB, Toledo
  • MAC Defensive Player of the Year: Matt Salopek, OLB, Miami (OH)
  • MAC Special Teams Player of the Year: Graham Nicholson, K, Miami (OH)
  • MAC Freshman of the Year: Jalen Buckley, RB, Western Michigan
  • MAC Coach of the Year: Jason Candle, Toledo

All-MAC Teams

The MAC released First, Second, and Third team selections:

2023 All-MAC First Team

Pos. Player College
Pos. Player College
QB Dequan Finn Toledo
RB Antario Brown Northern Illinois
RB Peny Boone Toledo
WR Chrishon McCray Kent State
WR Sam Wiglusz Ohio
WR Jerjuan Newton Toledo
WR Kenneth Womack Western Michigan
TE Harold Fannin Jr. Bowling Green
OL Corey Stewart Ball State
OL Nolan Potter Northern Illinois
OL Nick Rosi Toledo
OL Vinny Sciury Toledo
OL Jacob Gideon Western Michigan
DL CJ Nunnally Akron
DL Sidney Houston Ball State
DL Caiden Woullard Miami (OH)
DL Judge Culpepper Toledo
LB Matt Salopek Miami (OH)
LB Bryce Houston Ohio
LB Keye Thompson Ohio
LB Dallas Gant Toledo
DB Jalen Huskey Bowling Green
DB Devin Grant Buffalo
DB Quinyon Mitchell Toledo
DB Maxen Hook Toledo
K Graham Nicholson Miami (OH)
P Mitchell Tomasek Eastern Michigan
KR Marion Lukes Central Michigan
KR Jacquez Stuart Toledo

2023 All-MAC Second Team

Pos. Player College
Pos. Player College
QB Kurtis Rourke Ohio
RB Marquez Cooper Ball State
RB Terion Stewart Bowling Green
WR Daniel George Akron
WR Jasaiah Gathings Akron
WR Tanner Knue Eastern Michigan
WR Jesse Prewitt III Central Michigan
TE Anthony Torres Toledo
OL Deiyantei Powell-Woods Central Michigan
OL Brayden Swartout Central Michigan
OL Brian Dooley Eastern Michigan
OL Will Jados Miami (OH)
OL Reid Holskey Miami (OH)
DL Jacques Bristol Central Michigan
DL Brian Ugwu Miami (OH)
DL James Ester Northern Illinois
DL Marshawn Kneeland Western Michigan
LB Cole Pearce Ball State
LB Darren Anders Bowling Green
LB Joe Sparacio Eastern Michigan
LB Ty Wise Miami (OH)
DB Jordan Oladokun Bowling Green
DB Donte Kent Central Michigan
DB Yahsyn McKee Miami (OH)
DB Javaughn Byrd Northern Illinois
K Andrew Glass Kent State
P Alec Bevelhimer Miami (OH)
KR Jaylon Jackson Eastern Michigan
KR Cade McDonald Miami (OH)

2023 All-MAC Third Team

Pos. Player College
Pos. Player College
QB Brett Gabbert Miami (OH)
RB Rashad Amos Miami (OH)
RB Jalen Buckley Western Michigan
WR Odieu Hiliare Bowling Green
WR Luke Floriea Kent State
WR Trayvon Rudolph Northern Illinois
WR Anthony Sambucci Western Michigan
TE Tanner Koziol Ball State
OL Damon Kaylor Ball State
OL Alex Wollschlaeger Bowling Green
OL Gabe Wallace Buffalo
OL Tyler Doty Buffalo
OL Addison West Western Michigan
DL CJ West Kent State
DL Vonnie Watkins Ohio
DL Rayyan Buell Ohio
DL Darius Alexander Toledo
LB Bryan McCoy Akron
LB Cashius Howell Bowling Green
LB Kyle Moretti Central Michigan
LB Chase Kline Eastern Michigan
DB KJ Martin Akron
DB Davon Ferguson Bowling Green
DB Chris McDonald Jr. Toledo
DB Keni-H Lovely Western Michigan
K Luke Pawlak Toledo
P Lucas Borrow Ball State
KR Jhalyin Embry Bowling Green
KR Ron Cook Jr. Buffalo

All-MAC Breakdown by Team - Total (First, Second, Third)

  • Toledo - 14 (10, 1, 3)
  • Miami (OH) - 12 (3, 7, 2)
  • Bowling Green - 10 (2, 3, 5)
  • Ball State - 7 (2, 2, 3)
  • Western Michigan - 7 (2, 1, 4)
  • Central Michigan - 7 (1, 5, 1)
  • Ohio - 6 (3, 1, 2)
  • Eastern Michigan - 6 (1, 4, 1)
  • Northern Illinois - 5 (2, 2, 1)
  • Akron - 5 (1, 2, 2)
  • Kent State - 4 (1, 1, 2)
  • Buffalo - 4 (1, 0, 3)

Additional Notes

  • First Team All-MAC consists of 10 Toledo players. No other MAC school has more than three representatives on this team.
  • Toledo leads all teams in overall selections at 14. The Rockets ranked first in overall selections in 2022 with 10 and tied for first in 2011 with 11. Thus, this is their third-straight year showcasing the most All-MAC players. Toledo’s 14 selections are the most by any MAC school in the 21st century.
  • Dequan Finn is the first Toledo player to win the Vern Smith Leadership Award recognizing the top player in the MAC since Logan Woodside in 2017. Finn is the third-straight quarterback to claim this award, following Kurtis Rourke and Dustin Crum.
  • Peny Boone is the first Toledo player to win MAC Offensive Player of the Year since Logan Woodside in 2017. Boone is the fourth running back in the last five years to claim this award.
  • Matt Salopek is the first Miami (OH) player to win MAC Defensive Player of the Year since Quinten Rollins in 2014. Salopek is the 17th Miami player to receive this honor, which ranks first among all MAC teams.
  • Graham Nicholson is the second Miami (OH) player to win MAC Special Teams Player of the Year, joining punt returner Ryne Robinson who won in 2004. Nicholson is also a Lou Groza Award finalist for nation’s best kicker after connecting on all 23 field goal attempts this season.
  • Jalen Buckley is the first Western Michigan player to win MAC Freshman of the Year since Jamauri Bogan in 2015. Buckley is the fourth-straight running back to claim the award. Western Michigan now has claimed this award a MAC-high 10 times, bringing home MAC Freshman of the Year honors five times since 2012.
  • Jason Candle is a second-time recipient of the MAC Coach of the Year, also winning the award during Toledo’s 2017 MAC title season. He is one of 12 multi-time winners of the award, joining P.J. Fleck and Lance Leipold as those to do it in the 21st century. Toledo has claimed this honor more than any other MAC school, winning the MAC Coach of the Year for the 11th time.
  • Seven back-to-back First Team All-MAC selections include:
  1. Toledo ILB Dallas Gant
  2. Toledo SS Maxen Hook
  3. Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell
  4. Northern Illinois OT Nolan Potter
  5. Toledo G Nick Rosi
  6. Eastern Michigan P Mitchell Tomasek
  7. Ohio WR Sam Wiglusz
  • Nine three-time All-MAC selections include:
  1. Buffalo KR Ron Cook Jr. (2023 Third, 2021 Third, 2020 Third)
  2. Ball State RB Marquez Cooper (2023 Second, 2022 First, 2021 Second)
  3. Eastern Michigan OT Brian Dooley (2023 Second, 2022 Second, 2021 Third)
  4. Northern Illinois DT James Ester (2023 Second, 2022 Third, 2021 Third)
  5. Toledo SS Maxen Hook (2023 First, 2022 First, 2021 Third)
  6. Northern Illinois OT Nolan Potter (2023 First, 2022 First, 2021 Second)
  7. Toledo G Nick Rosi (2023 First, 2022 First, 2019 Third)
  8. Northern Illinois WR/KR Trayvon Rudolph (2023 Third, 2021 Second, 2020 Second)
  9. Miami (OH) OLB Matthew Salopek (2023 First, 2022 Third, 2021 Second)
  • Toledo G Nick Rosi is the only 2019 All-MAC selection to receive the honor in 2023. Northern Illinois WR/KR Trayvon Rudolph and Buffalo KR Ron Cook Jr. are the only 2020 All-MAC selections to receive the honor in 2023.