It was yet another exciting season of MAC football. November came, and the world was reminded what an amazing brand of football it is. The All-MAC team for the 2021 college football season was, without question, the hardest to assemble. That wasn’t because of a lack of star power — rather, it was the opposite. With so many worthy individuals, some awards have two recipients.
All-MAC Football Team Honors for 2021
Let’s get to the top honors — the individual performances of note. The MAC certainly had some offensive firepower, but you’ll notice a ton of defensive players who earned honors below.
It’s important to note that these are awards and honors from Pro Football Network for each individual’s prowess on the field this season. This is in no way a projection of their NFL Draft status nor a report on actual conference awards that were already handed out. These honors are from Pro Football Network, as judged upon by our team of college football analysts.
Let’s get to the overall awards.
- MAC Coach of the Year: Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois
- Co-MAC Players of the Year: Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Miami (OH) & Darren Anders, LB, Bowling Green
- MAC Newcomer of the Year: Davon Ferguson, DB, Bowling Green
- MAC Game of the Year: Kent State vs. Northern Illinois, Week 10
While Thomas Hammock has turned Northern Illinois around, the rest of the conference also enjoyed some turnaround seasons. In 2021, the offenses dominated at times, but the most consistent players earned the year-end recognition.
- MAC Offensive Player of the Year: Bryant Koback, RB, Toledo
- MAC Quarterback of the Year: Dustin Crum, Kent State
- MAC Running Back of the Year: Lew Nichols III, Central Michigan
- MAC Wide Receiver of the Year: Jack Sorenson, Miami (OH)
- MAC Offensive Lineman of the Year: Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan
- MAC Offensive Line of the Year: Northern Illinois Huskies
- MAC Offensive Rookie of the Year: Konata Mumpfield, WR, Akron
It was a star-studded affair in the MAC on offense this past season. Dustin Crum was up to his old tricks, putting together 633 rushing yards with 11 rushing scores to go with his 2,922 passing yards and 16 touchdowns. Bryant Koback earns the overall offensive player of the year after dominating in both facets for the Rockets.
Koback finished second to Lew Nichols III with 1,274 rushing yards, but he tied for the conference lead with 15 rushing scores. What separated Koback was his ability through the air, as he led all MAC running backs with 333 receiving yards in 2021. Nichols was no slouch, however, as he earns our top running back honors after leading the conference with a whopping 1,710 yards.
Jack Sorenson was the class of the conference with a MAC-leading 1,290 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged a massive 18.7 yards per reception as he did his damage on only 69 receptions.
Akron ushers in a new era with Konata Mumpfield
The Zips are beginning a new age with Joe Moorhead as their head coach. One thing is for sure in Akron for 2022 — the building blocks are there. One of those pieces is certainly Konata Mumpfield, the fabulous true freshman receiver. Mumpfield finished 10th in the conference with 751 receiving yards, while he tied for third with 8 receiving touchdowns.
Mumpfield and Zach Gibson give Moorhead a great QB-WR combination to work with going forward. And that goes without mentioning Michael Mathison, a terrific rising junior for the Zips in 2022.
First-Team All-MAC Offense
QB: Dustin Crum, Kent State
RB: Lew Nichols III, Central Michigan
RB: Marquez Cooper, Kent State
WR: Skyy Moore, Western Michigan
WR: Jack Sorenson, Miami (OH)
WR: Dante Cephas, Kent State
TE: Joel Wilson, Central Michigan
FLEX: Bryant Koback, Toledo
LT: Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan
LG: Sidy Sow, Eastern Michigan
C: Mike Caliendo, Western Michigan
RG: Nathan Monnin, Kent State
RT: Nolan Potter, Northern Illinois
Second-Team All-MAC Offense
QB: Kaleb Eleby, Western Michigan
RB: La’Darius Jefferson, Western Michigan
RB: Dylan McDuffie, Buffalo
WR: Trayvon Rudolph, Northern Illinois
WR: Kalil Pimpleton, Central Michigan
WR: Mac Hippenhammer, Miami (OH)
TE: Christian Sims, Bowling Green
FLEX: Konata Mumpfield, Akron
LT: Marques Cox, Northern Illinois
LG: Jacob Gideon, Western Michigan
C: Sam Allan, Kent State
RG: Dylan Deatherage, Western Michigan
RT: Luke Goedeke, Central Michigan
Honorable Mention All-MAC Offense
QB: Daniel Richardson, Central Michigan
RB: Jevyon Ducker, Northern Illinois
RB: Sean Tyler, Western Michigan
WR: Hassan Beydoun, Eastern Michigan
WR: Quian Williams, Buffalo
WR: JaCorey Sullivan, Central Michigan
TE: Andrew Homer, Miami (OH)
FLEX: Clint Ratkovich, Northern Illinois
LT: Bill Kuduk, Kent State
LG: Anthony Todd, Ball State
C: Brayden Patton, Northern Illinois
RG: Logan Zschernitz, Northern Illinois
RT: Brian Dooley, Eastern Michigan
The MAC was taken by storm by a few defensive players in 2021. As such, like our Co-Players of the Year, we split our votes down the middle on our selections for the top defender.
- MAC Co-Defensive Players of the Year: Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Miami (OH) & Darren Anders, LB, Bowling Green
- MAC Defensive Lineman of the Year: Ali Fayad, Western Michigan
- MAC Linebacker of the Year: Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Miami (OH) & Darren Anders, LB, Bowling Green
- MAC Defensive Back of the Year: Elvis Hines, Kent State
- MAC Defensive Rookie of the Year: Daymond Williams, DI, Buffalo
- MAC Defensive Line of the Year: Western Michigan
- MAC Secondary of the Year: Bowling Green
Ivan Pace Jr. and Darren Anders each got half of the votes for the top player in the conference this season. They each got half the votes for our Defensive Player of the Year award as well, so rather than splitting hairs, we decided they were both worthy of honor.
Pace was tremendous across all facets, finishing second in the conference in total tackles at 116. He patrolled the middle of the field with grace and ease, recording 3 pass breakups and an interception to boot.
Anders led the conference with 124 tackles and had 2 pass breakups with 1 interception as well. They combined for 7 sacks, with Pace edging Anders 4 to 3. Either way you sliced it, each player meant a great deal to their respective team’s efforts, and they deserved the recognition.
Elvis Hines flashes for the Golden Flashes
Elvis Hines continued to do what he has done for the Golden Flashes for a half-decade now. He finished the year with 3 interceptions and 10 pass breakups. His 13 total plays on the ball were third in the conference, but his play in run defense gave him the edge. Hines routinely flew through the line or past blocking receivers to make tackles on the outside.
Western Michigan’s defensive line was dominant
Thanks to their dominance as a unit, the Broncos earn the top defensive line honors, while edge rusher Ali Fayad earns the top defensive lineman award. Fayad led the conference with 11.5 sacks, while his teammate Ralph Holley finished ninth in the MAC with 5.5. As a unit, the Western Michigan pass-rushing threat was as fearsome as they come.
Cisco College transfer Daymond Williams takes home rookie honors, as his first year in major college football was a great one. He ranked fifth in total sacks at 6.5 while also batting down 3 passes at the line of scrimmage. The big man made a big name for himself in 2021.
First-Team All-MAC Defense
EDGE: Ali Fayad, Western Michigan
EDGE: Jamal Hines, Toledo
DI: Ralph Holley, Western Michigan
DI: Judge Culpepper, Toledo
LB: Ivan Pace Jr., Miami (OH)
LB: James Patterson, Buffalo
LB: Darren Anders, Bowling Green
CB: Elvis Hines, Kent State
CB: Samuel Womack, Toledo
CB: Montre Miller, Kent State
S: Bryce Cosby, Ball State
S: Matthew Salopek, Miami (OH)
FLEX: Davon Ferguson, Bowling Green
Second-Team All-MAC Defense
EDGE: Lonnie Phelps, Miami (OH)
EDGE: Jose Ramirez, Eastern Michigan
DI: Daymond Williams, Buffalo
DI: CJ West, Kent State
LB: Jaylin Thomas, Ball State
LB: Brock Horne, Bowling Green
LB: Lance Deveaux Jr., Northern Illinois
CB: J.T. Wahee, Ball State
CB: Tycen Anderson, Toledo
CB: Devin Taylor, Bowling Green
S: Alvin Floyd, Ohio
S: Keith Sherald Jr., Kent State
FLEX: Donte Kent, Central Michigan
Honorable Mention All-MAC Defense
EDGE: Troy Hairston II, Central Michigan
EDGE: Turan Rush, Eastern Michigan
DI: Walter Haire, Bowling Green
DI: Braden Fiske, Western Michigan
LB: Clayton Coll, Ball State
LB: Terry Myrick, Eastern Michigan
LB: Jeslord Boateng, Akron
CB: Charles Amankwaa, Akron
CB: Chris McDonald, Toledo
CB: Cedric Boswell, Miami (OH)
S: Dean Clark, Kent State
S: CJ Brown, Northern Illinois
FLEX: David Carter Jr., Eastern Michigan
MAC Special Teams
Let’s move to the special teams awards on our All-MAC team of the year. There were some automatic placekickers and booming kicks to choose from.
- MAC Kicker of the Year: Chad Ryland, Eastern Michigan
- MAC Punter of the Year: Nathan Snyder, Ball State
- MAC Specialist of the Year: Kalil Pimpleton, Central Michigan
Eastern Michigan’s Chad Ryland earns the nod as the kicker of the year for his double duties. He booted 37 total touchbacks on kickoffs and nailed 62 of 65 kick attempts. He was perfect on 45 extra points and 6-for-7 on field goals from 40 yards or more. His double duties gave him the slight edge of Bowling Green’s Nate Needham, who drilled 12 field goals from 40 yards or more.
First-Team All-MAC Specialists
Kicker: Nate Needham, Bowling Green
Kickoff Specialist: Chad Ryland, Eastern Michigan
Punter: Nathan Snyder, Ball State
Kick Returner: Michael Mathison, Akron
Punt Returner: Kalil Pimpleton, Central Michigan
Special Teamer: Dean Clark, Kent State
Second-Team All-MAC Specialists
Kicker: Chad Ryland, Eastern Michigan
Kickoff Specialist: Thomas Cluckey, Toledo
Punter: Luke Elzinga, Central Michigan
Kick Returner: Ron Cook Jr., Buffalo
Punt Returner: Devin Maddox, Toledo
Special Teamer: Clayton Coll, Ball State
Honorable All-MAC Specialists
Kicker: Thomas Cluckey, Toledo
Kickoff Specialist: Jacob Lewis, Ball State
Punter: Matt Naranjo, Bowling Green
Kick Returner: De’Montre Tuggle, Ohio
Punt Returner: Justin Hall, Bowling Green
Special Teamer: Ronald Delancy III, Toledo
Congratulations to all those players selected. For any questions regarding these selections or the process behind them, please ask on Twitter (@CamMellor).