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Seven Ohio Football Student-Athletes Earn All-MAC Recognition

Seven Ohio Football Student-Athletes Earn All-MAC Recognition

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MAC Release

CLEVELAND -- The Ohio football team was represented by seven student-athletes on the 2019 All-Mid-American Conference Awards list, which was announced by the league office today.

Senior quarterback Nathan Rourke (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) and redshirt senior defensive back Javon Hagan (Jacksonville, Fla.) earned All-MAC First Team selection. Redshirt senior offensive lineman Austen Pleasants (Ironton, Ohio) and redshirt senior punter specialist Michael Farkas (Mishawaka, Ind.) garnered All-MAC Second Team recognition. Redshirt senior offensive lineman Marques Grimes (Southfield, Mich.), redshirt senior offensive lineman Steven Hayes (Dacula, Ga.) and redshirt senior kickoff return specialist DL Knock (Springboro, Ohio) received All-MAC Third Team honors.

Rourke, a physical activity & sport coaching major, earned All-MAC First Team honors after being named All-MAC Second Team each of the previous two seasons. He joins Bill Frederick (1953), Dave Wagner (1959, '60), Bob Babbitt (1962), Cleve Bryant (1968), Andy Vetter (1977) and Sammy Shon (1981) as the only quarterbacks in program history to be named All-MAC First Team and becomes the first Ohio quarterback to be named All-MAC three times in his career. Rourke, who started all 12 regular season games for Ohio in 2019, set career highs with 191 completions (eighth-most in program history) and 311 attempts (ninth-most in program history) for a career-best 61.4 percent completion percentage (sixth-best in program history) and threw for a career-high 2,676 yards (fourth-most in program history) with a career-high 223.0 yards per game (fourth-most in program history). He threw 20 touchdown passes (third-most in MAC, tied for fourth-most in program history) against a career-low five interceptions. He threw for at least 200 yards seven times this season and at least 300 yards twice, including a career-high 342 in a 45-38 win over Kent State on Oct. 19. He threw multiple touchdown passes seven times, including three outings with at least three touchdown passes and a career-high tying four touchdown passes in a   Rourke has also maintained his status as a top dual-threat quarterback, ranking second on the team with 780 rushing yards (10th-most in MAC) and leading the team with 12 rushing touchdowns (tied for fourth-most in MAC, tied for ninth-most in program history). He accounted for a career-high 3,456 yards of total offense (first in MAC, second-most in program history) and a career-high 288.0 yards of total offense per game (second-most in MAC, most in program history). Rourke ranked second on the team with 78 points, scoring 13 total touchdowns (fifth-most in MAC, tied for ninth-most in program history), including one receiving touchdown. His 33 touchdowns responsible for rank as the fourth-most in program history. He was named MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week three times this season, bringing his career total to nine. A two-time team captain, Rourke has played in 38 career games for the Bobcats, starting the last 36. He owns a 23-13 record as a starting quarterback. Rourke is ranked first in program history with a career passing efficiency rating of 146.9 and 192.4 passing yards per game, second with 516 completions, 7,313 passing yards, and 60 career passing touchdowns, third with 877 passing attempts and a completion percentage of 58.8 percent and fifth with 14.0 yards per completion. He ranks second in program history with 48 career rushing touchdowns (second-most among active Football Bowl Subdivision players, most among active FBS quarterbacks) and 6.1 rushing yards per carry and ninth with 2,547 rushing yards and 67.0 rushing yards per game. He ranks second in program history with 9,860 career yards of total offense and first with 259.5 yards of total offense per game. He ranks first in program history with 50 career touchdowns scored (third-most among active FBS players) and fourth with 300 points and has been responsible for a program-record 110 touchdowns (second-most among active FBS players).

Hagan, who has an undergraduate degree sport management, earned All-MAC First Team selection for the second year in a row after being named to the All-MAC Second Team in 2016 and '17. He is the first defensive back in program history to be named to the All-MAC First Team multiple times. Hagan finished the regular season ranked eighth among MAC players with a career-high 99 total tackles to lead the team, including a team-high 44 solo stops and a career-high 55 assisted tackles. He recorded double-digit total tackles four times, including a career-high 16 against Western Michigan on Nov. 12. He matched his career high with three tackles for loss. Hagan's seven pass breakups led the team, and he logged one quarterback hurry, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. A starter in 47 of the 51 career games he has played in and three-year team captain, Hagan has compiled 315 career total tackles (189 solo, sixth-most in program history; 126 assisted), with 9.0 career tackles for loss, has accounted for 32 career passes defensed (tied for eighth-most in program history), has tallied six career interceptions for 132 career interception return yards, has notched 26 career pass breakups (eighth-most in program history) and has forced nine career fumbles with four career fumble recoveries.

Pleasants (physical activity & sport coaching undergraduate degree), Grimes (sport management major) and Hayes (sociology-criminology major) all earned All-MAC recognition for the first time in their careers and give Ohio three offensive linemen to be named All-MAC for the third year in a row. The trio helped pave the way for the MAC's highest-scoring offense in 2019 in terms of total points (416, fourth-most in program history) and points per game (34.7, fourth-most in program history). The Bobcats finished the regular season ranked fourth in the league in total offense, with 5,320 total yards (seventh-most in program history) and 443.3 yards per game (fourth-most in program history). Ohio's 33 rushing touchdowns tied for the second-most in the MAC and rank as the fourth-most in program history. The Bobcats ranked third in the league in time of possession at 31:37 per game and fifth in sacks allowed with 20. Pleasants and Grimes both started all 12 games while Hayes started all nine games he played in.

Farkas, who has an undergraduate degree in communication studies, garnered All-MAC honors for the third time in his career after being named to the Third Team in 2016 and the First Team last year. He punted 47 times for 1,959 yards (41.7 yards per punt) in the regular season. Three of his punts went for at least 50 yards, with a season-long of 56 at Pitt on Sept. 7. He ranked second in the MAC in punts fair caught (20) and third in punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line (22). Farkas ranks second in program history with 219 career punts and a career punting average of 41.4 and third with 9,073 career punting yards.

Knock, a specialized studies major, earned All-MAC recognition for the first time in his career. He finished the regular season ranked fourth in the MAC with a career-high 635 kickoff return yards (eighth-most in program history) on a career-high 26 returns (fourth-most in MAC, tied ninth-most in program history), averaging a career-high 24.4 yards per return (fifth-most in MAC) and 52.9 yards per game. For his career, Knock has returned 36 kickoffs for 878 yards (24.4 yards per return, 20.0 yards per game) with a long of 100 yards for a touchdown.

Ohio went 6-6 overall in the 2019 regular season, making the Bobcats bowl eligible for the 11th year in a row, which is the longest current streak among MAC programs. The Bobcats went 5-3 in MAC play, marking the fifth year in a row Ohio has posted a winning conference record. Ohio will learn its bowl fate on Sunday (Dec. 8).

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