Football Leads All MAC Schools with Award Honorees
A total of 13 members of the Ball State football team were honored by the Mid-American Conference after helping the Cardinals to a 9-3 regular season overall record.
Ball State had five individuals named to the All-MAC First Team, while three were second team selections and five were chosen to the All-MAC Third Team. In all, the Cardinals had 15 mentions in the MAC's postseason honors, which was the most by any league school.
Zane Fakes (tight end), Austin Holtz (offensive line), Steven Schott (place kicker), Jamill Smith (wide receiver) and Willie Snead (wide receiver) were named to the All-MAC First Team, as selected by the league's 13 head coaches.
Jahwan Edwards (running back), Jordan Hansel (offensive line), Cameron Lowry (offensive line), Nathan Ollie (defensive tackle) and Eric Patterson (defensive back) were named to the All-MAC Third Team, while Smith was named the third-team punt return specialist and kick return specialist.
Fakes has made nine starts in 2012 and 27 in his career. He has managed 51 receptions for 404 yards with five touchdowns this season. Zakes 51 catches ranks fourth among tight ends in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Holtz, who started all 12 games for the Cardinals this season, anchored an offensive line that blocked for Wenning's 2,878 passing yards and the 1,321 rushing yards by Edwards. Holtz has started 32 games in his four seasons, and has helped Ball State to tie for eighth in the nation in 2012 for fewest sacks allowed with a 0.83 per game average.
Schott, who was one of the semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award which goes to the nation's most outstanding placekicker , is tied for second in the nation with 2.0 field goals made per game and is tied for first nationally with 24 made field goals.
Smith has 69 catches for 706 yards with six touchdowns this season. In addition, he is averaging 25.8 yards per kickoff return and 13.8 yards per punt return. Smith is 23rd in the nation in all-purpose yards with a 142.83 average per game, and is 28th in the nation in kickoff returns with a 25.84 average.
Freeman leads the Cardinals with 119 total tackles plus has one tackle for loss, two pass breakups, two quarterback hurries and one forced fumble in 2012. He is tied for 21st in the nation in tackles with a 9.92 per game average, and is the NCAA leader among active players with 455 career tackles. Freeman also earned second team honors in 2011.
Newsome managed 51 total tackles on the season and led Ball State with 12 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. He also added one pass breakup and two quarterback hurries in 2012. Newsome ranks 19th in the country with 0.85 sacks per game and is 39th in the nation with 1.20 tackles for loss per contest.
Under the direction of second-year head coach Pete Lembo, the Cardinals finished the regular season with a 9-3 overall record, and the nine victories ties for the third best single season effort in school history. In addition, Ball State managed a 6-2 MAC record, and defeated two teams from Football Bowl Subdivision Automatic Qualifying conferences in the same season for the first time in school history.