MAC awards: Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson (Muskegon) earns top honors

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
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Buffalo junior quarterback Tyree Jackson, a native of Muskegon and a graduate of Mona Shores High School, was named Mid-American Conference offensive player of the year this week in voting by the conference's coaches.

Jackson, a three-year starter, bounced back from an injury-plagued 2017 to have a monster season, throwing for 2,605 yards and 25 touchdowns (to 11 interceptions).

Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson, a former Muskegon Mona Shores standout, was named the Mid-American Conference offensive player of the year this week.

He has Buffalo at 10-2 entering Friday night's MAC championship game against Northern Illinois (7-5) at Ford Field.

More: WMU, EMU might be on collision course for securing bowl bid

Jackson headlined the first-team All-MAC offense, which also includes Western Michigan lineman Luke Juriga and running back LeVante Bellamy, a senior who rushed for 1,172 yards and six touchdowns for the Broncos (7-5), who are awaiting word if they'll get to go to a bowl game.

Headlining first-team All-MAC defense, locally: Central Michigan inside senior linebacker Malik Fountain, junior lineman Michael Danna and junior backs Sean Bunting and Xavier Crawford, and Eastern Michigan lineman Maxx Crosby.

Eastern Michigan, like Western, finished 7-5 and are waiting to hear if a bowl game is in the cards, while Central Michigan — so good on defense, but so bad on offense — finished 1-11 and fired head coach John Bonamego.

Individual MAC award winners

Coach of the year: Lance Leipold, Buffalo

Offensive player of the year: Tyree Jackson, QB, Buffalo

Defensive player of the year: Sutton Smith, DE, Northern Illinois

Special teams player of the year: Diontae Johnson, KR/PR, Toledo

Freshman of the year: Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo

Vern Smith leadership award winner: Sutton Smith, DE, Northern Illinois

All-MAC offense


Tyree Jackson, QB, Buffalo

Max Scharping, OL, Northern Illinois

Luke Juriga, OL, Western Michigan

Joe Lowery, OL, Ohio

James O'Hagan, OL, Buffalo

Joe Anderson, OL, Ohio

Tyler Mabry, TE, Buffalo

Anthony Johnson, WR, Buffalo

Diontae Johnson, WR, Toledo

Cody Thompson, WR, Toledo

Papi White, WR, Ohio

LeVante Bellamy, RB, Western Michigan

A.J. Ouellette, RB, Ohio

Matt Trickett, PK, Kent State


Nathan Rourke, QB, Ohio

John Keenoy, OL, Western Michigan

Bryce Harris, OL, Toledo

Luke Shively, OL, Northern Illinois

Durrell Wood, OL, Ohio

Evin Ksiezarczyk, OL, Buffalo

Reggie Gilliam, TE, Toledo

K.J. Osborn, WR, Buffalo

Scott Miller, WR, Bowling Green

Jayden Reed, WR, Western Michigan

Riley Miller, WR, Ball State

Tre Harbison, RB, Northern Illinois

Jaret Patterson, RB, Buffalo

Ryan Tice, PK, Central Michigan


Gus Ragland, QB, Miami

Jimmy Leatiota, OL, Eastern Michigan

Danny Godlevske, OL, Miami

Steve Nielsen, OL, Eastern Michigan

Jack Kramer, OL, Bowling Green

Jordan Rigg, OL, Miami

Giovanni Ricci, TE, Western Michigan

Blake Banham, WR, Eastern Michigan

Justin Hall, WR, Ball State

Jon’Vea Johnson, WR, Toledo

Jack Sorenson, WR, Miami

Andrew Clair, RB, Bowling Green

Jamauri Bogan, RB, Western Michigan

Jameson Vest, PK, Toledo

All-MAC defense


Brad Koenig, OLB, Miami

Antonio Jones-Davis, OLB, Northern Illinois

Khalil Hodge, ILB, Buffalo

Malik Fountain, ILB, Central Michigan

Sutton Smith, DL, Northern Illinois

Maxx Crosby, DL, Eastern Michigan

Michael Danna, DL, Central Michigan

Chuck Harris, DL, Buffalo

Alvin Davis, DB, Akron

Sean Bunting, DB, Central Michigan

Javon Hagan, DB, Ohio

Xavier Crawford, DB, Central Michigan

Michael Farkas, P, Ohio


Evan Croutch, OLB, Ohio

Ulysees Gilbert III, OLB, Akron

Kyle Pugh, ILB, Northern Illinois

Kyle Rachwal, ILB, Eastern Michigan

Josh Corcoran, DL, Northern Illinois

Jamal Davis, DL, Akron

Kalil Morris, DL, Kent State

Doug Costin, DL, Miami

Cameron Lewis, DB, Buffalo

Kevin McGill, DB, Eastern Michigan

Mykelti Williams, DB, Northern Illinois

Kyron Brown, DB, Akron

Jake Julien, P, Eastern Michigan


John Lako, OLB, Akron 

Christian Albright, OLB, Ball State

Brian Bell, ILB, Akron

Jacob White, ILB, Ball State

Tuzar Skipper, DL, Toledo

Jack Heflin, DL, Northern Illinois

Jeremiah Harris, DL, Eastern Michigan

Nate Brisson-Fast, DL, Central Michigan

Marcus Milton, DB, Bowling Green

Vince Calhoun, DB, Eastern Michigan

Brody Hoying, DB, Eastern Michigan

Josh Teachey, DB, Toledo

Kyle Kramer, P, Miami

All-MAC special teams


Maurice Thomas, KR, Miami

Diontae Johnson, PR, Toledo

Diontae Johnson, KR, Toledo

Jayden Reed, PR, Western Michigan

Malik Dunner, KR, Ball State

K.J. Osborn, PR, Buffalo

Twitter: @tonypaul1984

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