6 WMU football players earn All-MAC honors
Western Michigan Football Earns Seven All-MAC Recognitions
CLEVELAND- The Mid-American Conference announced its postseason award winners on Wednesday, Nov. 28. Western Michigan had six players earn a total of seven recognitions.
Junior running back LeVante Bellamy and junior right guard Luke Juriga were named First Team All-MAC. Senior center John Keenoy and freshman wide receiver Jayden "Bird" Reed were voted to the Second Team. Reed picked up two honors, as he was also named to the Second Team as a punt returner. Landing on the Third Team was senior running back Jamauri Bogan and junior tight end Giovanni Ricci.
The Broncos were the only team to produce two all-conference running backs.
Bellamy led the MAC in rushing yards (1,172), rushing yards per game (97.7), and all-purpose yards (1,567). He had six touchdowns and five games with over 100 yards on the ground, including a career-high (and MAC season-high) 213 yards at Ball State on Nov. 13. Bellamy's 1,172 yards and his all-purpose yards both rank 17th most in the nation. It was his first 1,000-yard season and his first All-MAC honor of his career.
Juriga started all 12 regular season games at right guard and played 979 total snaps. This is his second All-MAC award, after being voted to the Second Team last season as a sophomore.
Keenoy started every game at center, played 923 snaps and served as a team captain. He will finish his career as a three-time All-MAC honoree, being named to the First Team last season and to the Second Team in 2016. This past week Keenoy also officially accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Jan. 19, 2019.
Keenoy and Juriga paved the way for WMU's rushing attack, which was ranked 33rd in the nation, averaging 204.6 yards per game. The Broncos also ranked 27th among the 129 FBS teams for sacks allowed with 17.
Reed made an immediate impact in his rookie season. He had eight receiving touchdowns and one punt return TD. He led Western Michigan with 797 receiving yards and 56 receptions. He ranked in the top six in the MAC for total receiving yards, receiving yards per game and receptions per game. Reed tied Greg Jennings' school record with four touchdown receptions at Miami on Sept. 29. In the third game of the season, Reed returned a punt for a 93-yard touchdown. For the year, Reed has 215 punt return yards and 116 yards on kick returns.
Bogan rushed for 15 touchdowns and 702 yards on 156 carries. His 15 touchdowns are the most by any player (rushing or receiving) in the MAC this season and ranks 13th most in the nation. Bogan moved into second place for career touchdowns at WMU with 42 and sixth for career rushing yards with 3,265. Bogan recorded a touchdown in each of the final seven MAC games and ran for four TDs at Bowling Green on Oct. 13. This is the second season Bogan has earned an All-MAC recognition. He was the MAC Freshman of the Year and voted Third Team All-MAC in 2015.
Ricci earns his first All-MAC honor, playing his first season at tight end after making the switch from wide receiver last spring. He totaled 392 yards on 35 receptions and had three touchdowns and a 2-point conversion. Ricci also appeared on several of the Broncos' special teams units.
Western Michigan finished the season tied for second in the MAC West with a 7-5 overall and 5-3 conference record. Bowl eligible for a program-record fifth-straight year, the Broncos will learn of their postseason destination on Sunday, Dec. 2.