Making history

Ohio senior safety Javon Hagan (7) enters the field with teammates Cameron Odom (3) and Will Evans (9) prior to the Bobcats’ home game against Northern Illinois on Oct. 12, 2019. Hagan was named a First Team All-MAC pick for a second consecutive season on Wednesday in a vote held by the league’s head coaches. Hagan is the first defensive back in program history to earn multiple First Team All-MAC honors.

With his college career entering its final stages, Ohio fifth-year senior safety Javon Hagan said he was still thinking of nothing but the moment and the future.

“I always think forward,” Hagan said two days prior to Ohio’s regular-season finale, a 52-3 win at Akron on Nov. 26.

“I live in the present. I think about the future, never sidetrack, never regret.”

Hagan will leave OU with a historic run as a defensive back. He became the first secondary player in program history to garner multiple First Team All-Mid-American Conference honors on Wednesday when was named a first teamer for a second consecutive season.

Hagan was a Second Team All-MAC pick following both 2016 and ’17, and earned First Team honors in 2018.

Hagan logged a career-high 99 tackles this season, including a career-high 16 against Western Michigan on Nov. 12. He led Ohio with seven pass breakups this season as well. Hagan started 47 of the 51 career games he appeared in and finishes his OU career as a three-time team captain and now the first DB in Ohio history with multiple First Team All-MAC honors.

Hagan has 315 career tackles, 9.0 career tackles for loss and is tied for eighth in program history with 32 career passes defended — six interceptions and 26 pass breakups (7th in OU history). Hagan also has nine forced fumbles and four career fumble recoveries.

And Hagan’s selection wasn’t the only historic note from the 2019 All-MAC Team for the Bobcats. The all-conference list, voted on by the league’s head coaches, included seven total Ohio players and two First Team selections.

Senior quarterback Nathan Rourke joined Hagan on the First Team. With the selection, Rourke became the first OU QB to earn First Team honors since Sammy Shon in 1981. Rourke joins Bill Frederick (1953), Dave Wagner (1959-60), Bob Bobbitt (1962), Cleve Bryant (1968), Andy Better (1977) and Shon as the only quarterbacks in program history to earn First Team All-MAC honors.

In addition, Rourke became the first Ohio quarterback to ever be named All-MAC three times during his career. Rourke earned Second Team honors in both 2017 and 2018.

This season, Rourke set career highs with 191 completions on 311 attempts for a career-best 61.4 percent completion percentage (sixth-best in program history). Rourke threw for 2,676 yards (fourth in OU history) with 20 touchdowns (T-4th in program history) against a career-low five interceptions.

Rourke was clearly the top dual-threat QB in the MAC with 780 rushing yards (10th in the MAC) and led Ohio (T-4th in MAC) with 12 rushing touchdowns. His career-high of 3,456 yards of total offense led the MAC and was the second-most in a single-season in program history.

Rourke accounted for 33 touchdowns this season and has been responsible for a program-record 110 touchdowns over his career. Rourke is first in program history with a career passing efficiency rating of 146.9.

Joining Rourke and Hagan on the All-MAC Teams from Ohio were offensive linemen Austen Pleasants, Steven Hayes and Marques Grimes, Punter Michael Farkas and kickoff return specialist D.L. Knock.

Ohio finished sixth in the MAC with seven total players on the lists. Western Michigan led the MAC with 13 honoreers, while Buffalo (12) and Buffalo (10) both had double-digits. MAC divisional champs Central Michigan and Miami both had nine players honored.

Ohio head coach Frank Solich has now had 110 players receive All-MAC honors during his 15 years running the program.

Pleasants, Grimes and Hayes — all seniors — all earned All-MAC recognition for the first time in their careers. The trio also gave OU three offensive linemen on the All-MAC teams for a third year in a row. Pleasants, who switched from right to left tackle this season, landed on the Second Team. Hayes, at center, and Grimes, a first-time starter at right tackle, picked up Third Team honors.

Ohio’s offense — in conference games only — led the MAC in scoring (38.6 ppg) and yards per carry (5.6), ranked second in total offense (478.0) and third in rushing offense (244.9).

Farkas earned All-MAC honors for the third time in career after a Third Team selection in 2016 and a First Team nod in 2018. Farkas averaged 41.7 yards per punt, ranked second in the MAC in punts fair caught (20) and third in punts downed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line (22). Farkas is second in program history with 219 career punts, a career average of 41.4 and is third with 9,073 career punting yards.

Knock, a wide receiver walk-on, was named All-MAC for the first time in his career. He finished fourth in the MAC with 635 kickoff return yards and averaged a career-high 24.4 yards per return (fifth in the MAC). For his career, Knock averaged 24.4 yards per return over a span of 36 returns with a career-long of 100 yards and one KO return touchdown.

Ohio finished the regular season at 6-6 to be bowl eligible for an 11th season in a row — the longest current streak in the MAC. The Bobcats will find out about a potential bowl destination on Sunday.

2019 MAC Football Awards

Coach of the Year — Jim McElwain, Central Michigan

Offensive Player of the Year — RB LeVante Bellamy, Western Michigan

Defensive Player of the Year — OLB Treshaun Hayward, Western Michigan

Special Teams Player of the Year — K Matthew Trickett, Kent State

Freshman of the Year — QB Brett Gabbert, Miami

Vern Smith Leadership Award Winner — RB LeVante Bellamy, Western Michigan

2019 FIRST TEAM ALL-MAC

Offense

Quarterback — Nathan Rourke (Ohio)

Offensive Linemen — Danny Pinter (Ball St.), Luke Juriga (WMU), Jordan Steckler (NIU), Evin Ksiezarczyk (Buffalo), Tommy Doyle (Miami)

Tight End — Giovanni Ricci (WMU)

Wide Receiver — Kalil Pimpleton (CMU), Justin Hall (Ball St.), Skyy Moore (WMU), JaCorey Sullivan (CMU)

Running Back — LeVante Bellamy (WMU), Jaret Patterson (Buffalo)

Placekicker — Matt Trickett (Kent St.)

Defense

Outside Linebacker — Treshaun Hayward (WMU), Troy Brown (CMU)

Inside Linebacker — Jacob White (Ball St.), John Lako (Akron)

Down Lineman — Sean Adesanya (CMU), Taylor Riggins (Buffalo), Malcolm Koonce (Buffalo), Doug Costin (Miami)

Defensive Back — Joey Banks (Buffalo), Javon Hagan (Ohio), Vince Calhoun (EMU), Antonio Phillips (Ball St.)

Punter — Kyle Kramer (Miami)

Specialists

Kickoff Return — Keith Mixon Jr. (WMU)

Punt Return — Kalil Pimpleton (CMU)

SECOND TEAM All-MAC

Offense

Quarterback — Mike Glass III (EMU)

Offensive Linemen — Austen Pleasants (Ohio), Jaylon Moore (WMU), Kayode Awosika (Buffalo), Mike Caliendo (WMU), Paul Nosworthy (Buffalo)

Tight End — Tony Poljan (CMU)

Wide Receiver — Riley Miller (Ball St.), Arthur Jackson (EMU), Bryce Mitchell (Toledo), Quintin Morris (Bowling Green)

Running Back — Bryant Koback (Toledo), Caleb Huntley (Ball St.)

Placekicker — Sam Sloman (Miami)

Defense

Outside Linebacker — Brody Hoying (EMU as a defensive back), Kadofi Wright (Buffalo)

Inside Linebacker — Michael Oliver (CMU), Drake Spears (WMU)

Down Lineman — Ali Fayad (WMU), Jack Heflin (NIU), Ledarius Mack (Buffalo), Kameron Butler (Miami)

Defensive Back — Jamal Parker (Kent St.), Mykelti Williams (NIU), Amechi Uzodinma (Ball St.), Tyrone Hill (Buffalo)

Punter — Michael Farkas (Ohio)

Specialists

Kickoff Return — Malik Dunner (Ball St.)

Punt Return — Maurice Thomas (Miami)

THIRD TEAM ALL-MAC

Offense

Quarterback — Jon Wassink (WMU)

Offensive Lineman — Nick Rosi (Toledo), Danny Godlevske (Miami), Curtis Blackwell (Ball St.), Marques Grimes (Ohio), Steven Hayes (Ohio)

Tight End — Mitchell Brinkman (NIU)

Wide Receiver — Isaiah McKoy (Kent St.), Antonio Nunn (Buffalo), Mike Carrigan (Kent St.), Dylan Drummond (EMU)

Running Back — Jonathan Ward (CMU), Tre Harbison (NIU)

Placekicker — John Richardson (NIU)

Defense

Outside Linebacker — Myles Reid (Miami), Kholbe Coleman (Bowling Green)

Inside Linebacker — Kobie Beltram (EMU), Jaylin Thomas (Ball St.)

Down Lineman — Jamal Hines (Toledo, Chibueze Onwuka (Buffalo), Theo Majette (Kent St.), Robi Stuart (CMU)

Defensive Back — Alvin Davis (Akron), Emmanuel Rugamba (Miami), Patrick Lupro (WMU), Kevin McGill (EMU)

Punter — Derek Adams (Kent St.)

Specialists

Kickoff Return — D.L. Knock (Ohio)

Punt Return — Keith Mixon Jr. (WMU)

Email at jarkley@athensmessenger.com; follow on Twitter @JasonAmessenger

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