On Wednesday morning, the Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced its 2023 end of season awards.
A total of 12 RedHawks earned All-MAC honors in 2023. Miami University redshirt-junior linebacker Matt Salopek was named MAC Defensive Player of the Year and junior kicker Graham Nicholson was named MAC Special Teams Player of the Year.
Salopek was all over the field this year for Miami’s defense, which allowed just over 10 points per game in MAC play this season — the best in the conference by more than a touchdown. Salopek finished the regular season with 125 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and an interception. In Miami’s win over the University of Cincinnati in September, Salopek recorded 18 tackles.
Nicholson had the best regular season in recorded college football history for a kicker. He made 23-of-23 field goals he attempted. No kicker has ever recorded a 100% make rate over a regular season where he attempted more than 21 field goals.
The RedHawks named to All-MAC teams were:
Placekicker Graham Nicholson (1st team)
Defensive lineman Caiden Woullard (1st team)
Linebacker Matt Salopek (1st team)
Offensive lineman Will Jados (2nd team)
Offensive lineman Reid Holskey (2nd team)
Defensive lineman Brian Ugwu (2nd team)
Linebacker Ty Wise (2nd team)
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Defensive back Yahsyn McKee (2nd team)
Punter Alec Bevelhimer (2nd team)
Kick returner Cade Mcdonald (2nd team)
Quarterback Brett Gabbert (3rd team)
Running back Rashad Amos (3rd team)
As for the rest of the conference, the University of Toledo’s Jason Candle won Coach of the Year. Toledo quarterback Dequan Finn won the Vern Smith Leadership Award and Toledo running back Peny Boone won the Offensive Player of the Year award. Western Michigan running back Jalen Buckley won freshman of the year.