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Eight Football Student-Athletes Honored by MAC


Eight members of the Ball State football team were named to the All-Mid-American Conference teams, which were selected by the league's head coaches.

Sean Baker and Aaron Morris were each named to the first team, while Travis Freeman, Jordan Hansel, Nathan Ollie, Briggs Orsbon and Jamill Smith were selected to the second team.  Scott Kovanda was named to the third team.

Baker, a senior defensive back who was a 2010 All-MAC Second Team selection, set the Ball State career interception record as a junior and added to that mark in 2011.  He ranked third for the Cardinals with 95 tackles despite missing two games because of an injury.  Baker added two tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions, one force fumble and one fumble recovery in 2011.

Morris, a sophomore outside linebacker, was second for Ball State with 115 tackles and tied for team high honors with 10 tackles for loss.  He added two sacks, one interception and three forced fumbles in 2011.  Morris led the Cardinals with a career high 14 tackles vs. Central Michigan and matched that performance with 14 tackles at Western Michigan and at Eastern Michigan.

Freeman, a junior middle linebacker, led Ball State with 134 tackles plus added six tackles for loss, four sacks and one interception in 2011.  Freeman ranks second in the MAC and eighth in the nation in tackles per game with 11.17 per contest.  He led the Cardinals in tackles in five games in 2011, and posted a career high 18 tackles at Northern Illinois.

Hansel, a sophomore offensive guard, started the first nine games of the season before suffering a season ending injury.  Hansel helped protect Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning, who threw for 2,786 yards -- the third best single season mark in Cardinals history.  He also blocked for freshman running back Jahwan Edwards, who rushed for 786 yards and 11 touchdowns. 

Ollie, a senior defensive tackle, led Ball State with six sacks and tied for team-high honors with 10 tackles for loss.  In addition, Ollie added one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.  He ranked 10th on the team with 42 tackles and is tied for 11th in the MAC in sacks.

Orsbon, a senior wide receiver with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average on Ball State's 4.0 scale, led the Cardinals with 66 receptions for 649 yards and four receiving touchdowns.  Orsbon, a risk management and finance major, ended his Ball State career ranked second in school history with 213 catches and fifth for career reception yards with 2,218. 

Smith, a sophomore who was selected as a punt return specialist, managed eight returns for 87 yards and a 10.9 average.  He also ranked seventh in the MAC with a 23.3 kickoff return average and managed 40 receptions for 422 yards and three touchdowns as a wide receiver.

Kovanda, a junior punter, tallied 61 punts for 2,654 yards and a 43.5 average.  He ranks third in the MAC and 21st in the nation in punting average, and helped the Cardinals to a ranking of 19th in the country in net punting.  Kovanda, who was one of 10 semifinalists for the Ray Guy Award which goes to the nation's top collegiate punter, punted a career high 10 times for a career best 424 yards at Oklahoma.  He managed a career long punt of 72 yards at Northern Illinois.  On 61 punts this season, Kovanda forced opponents to start inside the 20-yard line 22 times and limited opponents to a 5.4 yards per punt return.


ALL-MAC First Team
Sean Baker (Defensive Back)
Aaron Morris (Outside Linebacker)

ALL-MAC Second Team
Travis Freeman (Linebacker)
Jordan Hansel (Offensive Line)
Nathan Ollie (Defensive Line)
Briggs Orsbon (Wide Receiver)
Jamill Smith (Punt Return Specialist)

ALL-MAC Third Team
Scott Kovanda (Punter)

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