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Drew Nowak earns MAC Defensive Player of the Year

by Mat Kanan

Dec. 2, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of WMU .
Drew Nowak
KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's football team boasts eight All-Mid-American Conference selections for 2011, including two first team selections and the program's sixth Defensive Player of the Year, senior tackle Drew Nowak.

A native of Green Bay, Wis., Nowak tied for the lead in the MAC with 8.5 sacks and ranked second with 20.0 tackles for loss, tied for the sixth most in a season in WMU history and ranking fifth in the nation in 2011. Nowak totaled 83 tackles for the year, which ranked third on the team.

Nowak also was named third team All-American by Phil Steele.

Past Broncos to earn MAC Defensive Player of the Year honors are Ameer Ismail in 2006, Jason Babin in 2002 and 2003, Sean Mulhearn in 1990, Mark Garalczyk in 1986, and John Offerdahl in 1985.

This is Nowak's first all-conference selection. Joining him on the All-MAC First Team is wide receiver Jordan White, who earned his second first team honor. White is the sixth Bronco receiver to make all-conference first team more than once, joining Bob Phillips (1981, 1982), Tony Knox (1995, 1996), Steve Neal (1998, 1999, 2000), Greg Jennings (2004, 2005) and Jamarko Simmons (2007, 2008).

White leads the nation in receiving yards (1,646), receiving yards per game (137.2), receptions (127), receptions per game (10.6) and receiving TDs (16). He owns all but two receiving records in program history.

Selected to the All-MAC Second Team was quarterback Alex Carder, who leads the conference in passing with 312.2 yards per game. He threw for more than 400 yards in four games in 2011, twice breaking the school's single-game record and matching the MAC record for touchdown passes with seven at Toledo.

Also named to the second team was sophomore safety Johnnie Simon, on the strength of his 103 tackles in 2011. He is the first Bronco to eclipse 100 tackles since Louis Delmas in 2008.

Four Broncos earned All-MAC Third Team honors: junior defensive end Freddie Bishop; junior offensive lineman Dann O'Neill; senior kicker John Potter; and senior wide receiver Chleb Ravenell.

Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Year. Eastern Michigan's Ron English won MAC Coach of the Year, Ohio's Matt Weller earned MAC Special Teams Player of the Year, and Bowling Green's Anthon Samuel got MAC Freshman of the Year.

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