It’s not too often that two players share the same honor. But that’s exactly what happened in late November, when the MEAC selected Co-Offensive Players of the Year for the conference—Howard quarterback Greg McGhee and North Carolina A&T State running back Tarik Cohen.
“I can understand it,” said Jay Walker, ESPNU college football analyst. “You take a look at Greg McGhee and his body of work and what he has been able to do; obviously, the premier quarterback in HBCU football, and the numbers show that.
“Tarik Cohen is dynamic,” added Walker, who predicted a big year for the Bunn, N.C., native after he rushed for 161 yards and two touchdowns in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney. “I don’t know if I have seen a more exciting player that I’ve seen as an offensive weapon in Tarik Cohen in the past decade in HBCU football.”
McGhee, a 6-3, 210-pound senior, became the MEAC’s all-time leader in total offensive yards (10,168) over his career with the Bison. This season he led the conference in total offense (3,235), 21st in the FCS, and passing yards (2,388). McGhee completed 222 of 399 passes with 15 touchdowns, ranking 28th in the country, and throwing just eight interceptions.
“It’s an honor,” McGhee said. “I’ve been blessed to be in this situation. Tarik had an awesome season. He rushed for over 1,300 yards and scored 16 touchdowns.”
McGhee credits Howard quarterback coach Ted White for much of his success.
“He showed me a lot of things on the field,” McGhee said. “He did a great job with me. He taught me the right way to go.”
Cohen, a 5-6, 172-pound sophomore, led the conference in rushing for the second consecutive 1,000-yard season, with 1,340 total yards, to help North Carolina A&T State to a share of the MEAC crown. He led the MEAC in scoring (96 points) and touchdowns (16), and finished second in all-purpose yardage (143.4 average).
“I’m glad the MEAC gave it to me along with Greg McGhee,” Cohen said. “It’s his senior year and he broke an all-time MEAC record. It’s been a good year for me. It’s really my first season starting from the first game to the last game. That contributed a lot to all the games I did well in.”