Chad Spann tabbed MAC's top player

Northern Illinois senior running back Chad Spann won the Vern Smith Leadership Award, presented annually to the MAC's top football player, and was also selected the MAC Offensive Player of the Year, the league announced Wednesday.

Spann is tied for the national lead with 20 touchdowns, and has 226 carries for 1,239 yards this season. Spann set the Northern Illinois school record with 20 rushing touchdowns in a single season and his 48 total career touchdowns is tied with Michael Turner for second place on the Huskies’ all-time list.

In other awards: Kent State defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix was recognized as the Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Miami (Ohio) coach Mike Haywood was selected Coach of the Year and Toledo kickoff returner Eric Page was selected the Special Teams Player of the Year.

Nix led the MAC with 10 sacks and 20 tackles for loss and ranked second in the conference with four forced fumbles. Haywood led the greatest turnaround in college football this season, taking the RedHawks to an 8-4 record and MAC title game after going 1-11 last season.

Page led the conference with three kickoff returns for touchdowns and topped the MAC with with a 31.8 kickoff return average, which also ranked fourth in the nation.

Temple had eight first-team selections, while Northern Illinois had six. Buffalo defensive back Davonte Shannon became the fourth player in MAC history to be named a four-time All-MAC first team selection.

Here are the complete first, second and third teams:

First Team Offense

QB: Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois

C: Scott Wedige, Northern Illinois

OL: Trevor Olson, Northern Illinois

OL: Colin Madison, Temple

OL: Darius Morris, Temple

OL: Joe Flading, Ohio

TE: Evan Rodriquez, Temple

WR: Juan Nunez, Western Michigan

WR: Eric Page, Toledo

WR: Jordan White, Western Michigan

WR: Kamar Jorden, Bowling Green

RB: Chad Spann, Northern Illinois

RB: Bernard Pierce, Temple

PK: Trevor Cook, Miami

First Team Defense

OLB: Adrian Robinson, Temple

OLB: Matt Berning, Central Michigan

ILB: Nick Bellore, Central Michigan

ILB: Cobrani Mixon, Kent State

DL: Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple

DL: Roosevelt Nix, Kent State

DL: Sean Progar, Northern Illinois

DL: Elisha Joseph, Temple

DB: Davonte Shannon, Buffalo

DB: Jaiquawn Jarrett, Temple

DB: Domonic Cook, Buffalo

DB: Chris Smith, Northern Illinois

P:Matt Rinehart, Kent State

All-MAC First Team Specialists

KR: Eric Page, Toledo

PR: Terrell Jackson, Buffalo

Second Team Offense

QB: Zac Dysert, Miami

C: Colin Miller, Central Michigan

OL: Joe Pawlak, Northern Illinois

OL: Brandon Brooks, Miami

OL: Jeff Maddux, Central Michigan

OL: A.J. Strum, Ohio

TE: Jordan Thompson, Ohio

WR: Armand Robinson, Miami

WR: Cody Wilson, Central Michigan

WR: Nick Harwell, Miami

WR: Tyshon Goode, Kent State

RB: Adonis Thomas, Toledo

RB: Matt Brown, Temple

PK: Ian McGarvey, Ball State

Second Team Defense

OLB: Archie Donald, Toledo

OLB: Robert Eddins, Ball State

ILB: Elijah ‘Peanut’ Joseph, Temple

ILB: Dwayne Woods, Bowling Green

DL: Stafford Gatling, Ohio

DL: Austin Brown, Miami

DL: Shawn Lemon, Akron

DL: Jake Coffman, Northern Illinois

DB: Steven Jackson, Ohio

DB: Donovan Fletcher, Ohio

DB: Brian Lainhart, Kent State

DB: Sean Baker, Ball State

P: Bryan Wright, Bowling Green

Second Team Specialists

KR: Eric Williams, Ball State

PR: Eugene Cooper, Bowling Green

Third Team Offense

QB: Alex Carder, Western Michigan

C: Chris Anzevino, Kent State

OL: Michael Switzer, Ball State

OL: Mike VanDerMeulen, Toledo

OL: Brian Winters, Kent State

OL: Bob Gulley, Miami

TE: Jason Schepler, Northern Illinois

WR: Michael Campbell, Temple

WR: Sam Kirkland, Kent State

WR: Landon Cox, Northern Illinois

WR: Terrence McCrae, Ohio

RB: Eric Williams, Ball State

RB: Willie Geter, Bowling Green

PK: John Potter, Western Michigan

Third Team Defense

OLB: Alex Kube, Northern Illinois

OLB: Dorian Wood, Kent State

ILB: Devon Butler, Northern Illinois

Inside Linebacker – Dan Molls, Toledo

Down Lineman – Sean Murnane, Central Michigan

Down Lineman – Paul Hazel, Western Michigan

Down Lineman – Chris Jones, Bowling Green

Down Lineman – T.J. Fatinikun, Toledo

DB: Jahleel Addae, Central Michigan

DB: Vince Agnew, Central Michigan

DB: Jason Pinkston, Ball State

DB: Jamail Berry, Western Michigan

P: Zac Murphy, Miami

Third Team Specialists

KR: Tommy Davis, Northern Illinois

PR: Cody Wilson, Central Michigan