CLEVELAND -- Fifteen student-athletes represented Ohio football on the 2018 Academic All-Mid-American Conference Team, as announced by the league office today.
The following Bobcats earned recognition from the conference for their work both on the field and in the classroom: redshirt senior defensive lineman Kent Berger (Mentor, Ohio), redshirt junior linebacker Austin Clack (Tipp City, Ohio), redshirt sophomore linebacker Dylan Conner (Fort Wayne, Ind.), redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Austin Conrad (LaGrange, Ohio), redshirt sophomore linebacker Jared Dorsa (Kings Mills, Ohio), redshirt freshman cornerback Tariq Drake (Leavittsburg, Ohio), sophomore offensive lineman Brett Kitrell (Ashland, Neb.), redshirt senior offenisve lineman Joe Lowery (Tallmadge, Ohio), redshirt junior quarterback Quinton Maxwell (Rayville, Mo.), redshirt senior wide receiver Andrew Meyer (Canal Winchester, Ohio), redshirt freshman running back Jake Neatherton (Miamisburg, Ohio), redshirt senior running back A.J. Ouellette (Covington, Ohio), redshirt senior defensive lineman Andrew Payne (Danville, Ohio), junior linebacker Eric Popp (Loveland, Ohio) and junior quarterback Nathan Rourke (Oakville, Ontario, Canada).
A total of 154 student-athletes across MAC football were named to this year's squad.
The Academic All-MAC honor is for a student who has excelled in athletics and academics. To qualify, a student must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of the contests for that particular sport. First-year students and junior college transfers in their first year of residence are not eligible for the award.
Berger, Clack and Maxwell all earned Academic All-MAC Team selection for the third year in a row while Conner, Conrad, Dorsa, Meyer and Popp all garnered recognition for the second-straight year. Drake, Kitrell, Lowery, Neatherton, Ouellette, Payne and Rourke all received Academic All-MAC Team selection for the first time in their careers.
A finance major, Berger has compiled a career-high 33 tackles (19 solo) and 6.5 tackles for loss and leads the team with a career-high five sacks. He was named to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District 5 Team for his success on the field and in the classroom.
A finance major, Clack has recorded 10 total tackles (five solo) with one tackle for loss and one quarterback hurry.
A bios pre professional major, Conner has racked up a career-high 34 total tackles (21 solo) and five passes defensed. He recorded his first career fumble recovery in a 52-14 victory over Ball State on Oct. 25 and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown at Miami on Nov. 7.
A marketing major, Conrad Has logged a career-high 23 total tackles (11 solo) and a career-high 5.5 tackles for loss. He tallied his first career fumble recovery in a 59-14 win at Western Michigan on Nov. 1 and recorded his first career interception in a 49-28 victory over Akron on Nov. 23.
An exercise physiology major, Dorsa ranks fourth on the team with a career-high 56 total tackles (24 solo). He has notched a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss and four passes defensed. He is tied for the team lead with two interceptions. Dorsa recorded his first career forced fumble in a 27-26 win at Kent State on Oct. 6 and blocked a field at Miami on Nov. 7.
A communication studies major, Drake has tallied four tackles in his first season of action on defense and special teams. He recorded his first career interception in a 52-17 win over Buffalo on Nov. 14.
A marketing major, Kitrell is a starter on an offensive line that paved away for MAC's top offense as Ohio leads the conference in points per game (41.2), total offense (470.6 yards per game), rushing offense (261.9 rushing yards per game) and first downs (297; 24.8 per game) and ranks third in sacks against (19).
A health services administration major, Lowery is an All-MAC First Team selection. He was named MAC Player of the Year by Pro Football Focus and was the third-highest graded offensive tackle across the entire nation. He allowed just nine total QB pressures on 334 snaps in pass protection. He also led the nation's tackles with his 85.3 run-blocking grade.
A management and strategic leadership major, Maxwell saw action in seven games. He finished 17-of-25 with 233 yards passing and matched his career high with two passing touchdowns in a 38-32 win over Howard (Sept. 1) in the season opener.
A finance major, Meyer ranks second on the team with 34 receptions, 445 receiving yards and a career-high four touchdown receptions. He was named MAC Male Scholar Athlete of the Week on Oct. 10.
An exercise physiology – pre physical therapy, Neatherton has seen action on special teams and offense, running for 81 yards on 19 carries and logging six tackles.
Ouellette, who is pursuing his master's degree in coaching education, ranks second in the MAC with a career-high 1,142 yards (seventh-most in program history) and a career-high 95.2 yards per game (eighth-most in program history). His career-high 12 rushing touchdowns rank second on the team and are tied for the ninth-most in a single season in program history while his career-high 14 total touchdowns scored ties him for the sixth-most in a single season in program history. He has rushed for over 100 yards four times this year. Ouellete garnered All-MAC First Team selection and was a two-time MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week pick.
Payne, who is pursuing his master's degree in coaching education, has recorded a career-high 24 total tackles (nine solo), a career-high two passes defensed and a career-high two quarterback hurries.
An engineering technology & management major, Popp has tallied 16 total tackles (eight solo) and posted his second career fumble recovery against Virginia on Sept. 15.
A physical activity & sport coaching major, Rourke has completed 154 of his 252 pass attempts (61.1 percent completion percentage, sixth-best in program history) for a career-high 2,228 yards (ninth-most in program history) and a career-high 22 touchdown passes (second-most in program history). He finished the regular season ranked fifth in the MAC in passing yards and third in passing touchdowns. Rourke has also run for 816 yards (68.0 yard per game) to rank third on the team and leads the squad with 13 rushing touchdowns, with the latter tying him for the sixth-most in a single season in program history. In all he, has accounted for 3,044 yards of total offense (fourth-most in program history), with his 253.7 yards per game of total offense ranking as the third-highest average in program history and his 8.07 yards per play ranking as the highest average in program history. He has been responsible for 35 total touchdowns in 2018, which is good for the third-most in program history. Rourke earned All-MAC Second Tram selection and was a three-time MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week.
Ohio (8-4) will compete against San Diego State (7-5) in the 2018 DXL Frisco Bowl on Wednesday (Dec. 19). Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The 2018 DXL Frisco Bowl will be nationally televised on ESPN, with Kevin Brown, 1989 Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware and Kris Budden on the call. The 2018 DXL Frisco Bowl can also be heard on the Ohio IMG Sports Network. Russ Eisenstein returns for his 11th season as the "Voice of the Bobcats." Ohio alum Rob Cornelius, who has been a part of the broadcasts for close to two decades, is back in the booth. Ryan Boyd will serve as the sideline reporter. The 12-station network has an over-the-air coverage area that hits three states. In addition, the broadcasts are available online through OhioBobcats.com and TuneIn.com/OhioBobcats.com. They are also free on the TuneIn app.