MAC Offensive Player of the Year Lew Nichols headlines Central Michigan’s league-best 7 First Team All-MAC selections.
The 2021 All-MAC teams and individual awards were revealed by the conference on Wednesday, three days prior to the annual MAC Championship Game in Detroit.
The individual awards were voted on by the MAC’s 12 head coaches:
- Vern Smith Leadership Award (MAC MVP): Dustin Crum, QB, Kent State
- MAC Offensive Player of the Year: Lew Nichols, RB, Central Michigan
- MAC Defensive Player of the Year: Ali Fayad, DE, Western Michigan
- MAC Special Teams Player of the Year: Kalil Pimpleton, WR, Central Michigan
- MAC Freshman of the Year: Jay Ducker, RB, Northern Illinois
- MAC Coach of the Year: Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois
The MAC released First, Second, and Third team selections:
All-MAC Breakdown by Team – Total (First, Second, Third)
- Central Michigan – 11 (7, 1, 3)
- Toledo – 11 (5, 3, 3)
- Northern Illinois – 10 (1, 4, 5)
- Western Michigan – 9 (3, 5, 1)
- Miami (OH) – 9 (3, 3, 3)
- Kent State – 7 (3, 2, 2)
- Bowling Green – 7 (3, 1, 3)
- Eastern Michigan – 7 (1, 3, 3)
- Buffalo – 7 (1, 2, 4)
- Ball State – 6 (3, 3, 0)
- Akron – 2 (0, 2, 0)
- Ohio – 2 (0, 0, 2)
- Central Michigan and Toledo tied for the most overall selections with 11.
- Central Michigan received the most First Team selections with 7, including four on offense, two on defense, and one on special teams.
- Three players made multiple appearances on All-MAC teams. Central Michigan wide receiver and punt returner Kalil Pimpleton attained First Team honors in both position. Ball State’s Justin Hall was a First Team selection as a kick returner and Second Team selection as a wide receiver. Northern Illinois’ Trayvon Rudolph landed Second Team selections as both a wide receiver and kick returner.
- Dustin Crum is the first Kent State player to win the Vern Smith Leadership Award, which recognizes the conference’s MVP, since Eric Wilkerson won in 1987.
- The MAC Offensive Player of the Year has been a running back for three consecutive seasons. Prior to Lew Nichols, the last two winners of the award were Buffalo RB Jaret Patterson and Western Michigan RB LeVante Bellamy.
- Players that received First Team All-MAC selections in consecutive seasons include Kent State QB Dustin Crum, Ball State WR/KR Justin Hall, Toledo OL Bryce Harris, Western Michigan OL Mike Caliendo, Central Michigan DL Troy Hairston II, Central Michigan LB Troy Brown, Buffalo LB James Patterson, and Ball State DB Bryce Cosby.
- Ball State WR/KR and Central Michigan LB Troy Brown are the only two players to achieve First Team All-MAC selections in three consecutive seasons.
- Justin Hall, the FBS active leader in receptions and receiving yards, is the lone player on the 2021 All-MAC teams to be named all-conference four times.