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Published: Wednesday, 11/28/2007

8 Falcons, 7 Rockets All-MAC

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Eight players from Bowling Green State University and seven from the University of Toledo were selected to the All-Mid-American Conference football teams, announced by the league yesterday.

BG center Kory Lichtensteiger was selected to the first team for the second year in a row and was joined on that unit by Falcon defensive end Diyral Briggs, who recorded five sacks. Lichtensteiger, a senior, was named to the first or second team all four years.

Offensive tackle Drew Nystrom was named to the second team for the second straight year and was joined by safety P.J. Mahone, who did not begin the season as starter but finished with seven interceptions - tied for most in the MAC. BG's third-team members were quarterback Tyler Sheehan (3,123 passing yards), receiver Freddie Barnes (891 yards and nine touchdowns), kicker Sinisa Vrvilo (15 of 19 on field goal attempts) and cornerback Antonio Smith (74 tackles and two interceptions).

UT placed three on the first team - offensive tackle John Greco, running back Jalen Parmele and safety Barry Church. Stephen Williams (receiver), Alex Steigerwald (kicker) and Brett Kern (punter) were named to the second team. Nick Moore, a receiver, was third team.

Although a second-team selection, Kern was named the MAC special teams player of the year. He averaged 46.1 yards per punt and is a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation's top punter.

Greco, who finished his career as a three-time first team selection, paved the way for Parmele, whose 1,511 yards ranked ninth in the nation and fourth in UT history. Church, a sophomore, finished with 92 tackles and three interceptions.

Steigerwald made all 13 of his field goal attempts this season. Williams' 1,169 receiving yards are third most in UT history and Moore's eight touchdown catches rank fifth.

Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour was named offensive player of the year while Miami's Clayton Mullins earned the honor on defense.

LeFevour, the 2006 MAC freshman of the year, threw for 3,175 yards and ran for 838 more. Mullins had 109 tackles and four sacks.

Central receiver Antonio Brown was named the top freshman and Northern Illinois linebacker Alex English won the Vern Smith Leadership Award.

Buffalo's Turner Gill was named coach of the year with 18 votes, topping Miami's Shane Montgomery (12) and BG's Gregg Brandon (seven).

Central Michigan, Ball State and Western Michigan each had nine representatives on the All-MAC teams.

GMAC WILL WAIT: The GMAC Bowl likely will not choose its representatives until after Saturday's MAC championship, according to executive director Frank Modarelli. A 17-member selection committee met Monday night but did not come to a conclusion, much to the disappointment of Modarelli.

"It makes things a lot easier the earlier you get them," Modarelli said. "I wish they would have made a decision [Monday] but they didn't."

The Motor City and International Bowls will choose participants after the GMAC picks first.

Contact Ryan Autullo at:

rautullo@theblade.com.



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