Football Players Earn Preseason All-League Honors
Ten Ball State's football players were recognized in the Phil Steele College Football Preview for some preseason All-Mid-American Conference honors.
Jonathan Newsome and Nathan Ollie were named to the first team, while Willie Snead, Zane Fakes and Jordan Hansel were named to the second team. Keith Wenning and Jahwan Edwards were named to the third team, while Matthew Page and Eric Patterson were selected to the fourth team. Jamill Smith was named to the second team as a punt returner and the third team as a wide receiver and kick returner.
Newsome , a fifth-year senior defensive end, was named to the All-Mid-American Second Team after his junior season in 2012. He started 10 games, including the Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl, and tallied a career high eight tackles vs. Northern Illinois, at Army and vs. Ohio. Newsome led the Cardinals in tackles for loss (12.5) and sacks (10). He ranked third in the MAC and tied for 36th in the nation with 1.2 tackles for loss per game. Newsome was second in the MAC and 20th in the country with 0.85 sacks per contest.
Ollie, a senior defensive tackle in 2013, was named to the All-MAC Third Team last year after earning second team honors in 2011. He started his 25th straight game in the Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl to end the 2012 season. Ollie managed a career high nine tackles at Army last season and was named the MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week after tallying five tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and one fumble recovery in Ball State's win at Central Michigan last season.
Snead, who was selected to the Biletnikoff Watch List last season as one of the nation's top wide receivers, tallied 89 catches for 1,148 yards. He ranked 18th in the nation in receptions per game (6.85) and 25th in receiving yards per contest (88.31).
Fakes, a senior tight end in 2013, was named to the All-MAC and Academic All-MAC first teams last season. He tallied five touchdown catches in 2012 and has seven in his career.
Hansel, who will be a senior offensive lineman for the Cardinals this fall, was named to the All-MAC Third Team as a junior and the second team as a sophomore. Hansel has started 27 games in his first three seasons.
Hansel and Page, a senior tackle in 2013, were a part of an offensive line that blocked for Jahwan Edwards' 1,410 yards rushing - the third highest single-season total in Ball State history - last year. Hansel also protected quarterback Keith Wenning, who set a school record with 301 completions and threw for the third best single season total of 3,095 passing yards in school history.
Wenning, a senior quarterback at Ball State in 2013, was named to the All-MAC Second Team in 2012 and was a two-time MAC Player of the Week. He enters his senior season second in career passing yards (7,254) and first in career pass attempts (1,144). He started 33 straight games before missing the 2012 regular season finale with an injury, but returned to start the Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl.
In addition to his 1,410 rushing yards as a sophomore, Edwards was named to the 2012 All-MAC Third Team. He has 25 career rushing touchdowns in 24 career games and ranks sixth on Ball State's career charts for rushing TDs in a career. Edwards has 2,196 career rushing yards, which ranks eighth on the Cardinals' all-time chart.
Patterson, a junior defensive back, was named to the All-MAC Third Team a year ago. He started 10 games and had a career high 10 tackles vs. Ohio in 2012.
Smith, who will be a senior wide receiver in 2013, was an All-MAC First Team choice at wide receiver, while earning third-team honors as a punt and kick returner. He caught 69 passes for 706 yards and six touchdowns last season. Smith tied for 29th in the nation with 135.15 all-purpose yards per contest last season and ranked 26th in the country in kickoff returns with a 25.58 average.
Ball State finished 9-4 overall in 2012 and made its third bowl appearance in six seasons. The Cardinals open the 2013 season Aug. 29, with a home game vs. Illinois State.