IRVING, Texas — WKU Football had 15 student-athletes earn spots on the 2017
All-Conference USA squads as voted on by league coaches, the conference announced
Tuesday. The Hilltoppers have had at least that many in all four years as a league
member, with 15 in the program’s inaugural C-USA season in 2014, 17 in 2015 and a
program-record 21 in 2016.
Linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe and left guard Brandon Ray each earned their first
appearances on the First Team. Iyiegbuniwe improved from Honorable Mention in 2016,
while Ray was previously on the 2014 C-USA All-Freshman Team. They were two of the
six Hilltoppers who started all 12 games this season.
Iyiegbuniwe had 105 tackles (which led WKU, while ranking fifth in C-USA and t-36th
in the nation) – including a team-high nine for loss – with three forced fumbles.
The Bowling Green native made double-digit tackles in four games, including a
career-high 15 in back-to-back weeks at Marshall and vs. Middle Tennessee.
Ray made his 53rd career – and consecutive – start at FIU, setting the all-time WKU
program record for starts by an offensive or defensive player. The Madison, Ala.,
native helped lead the Hilltoppers to the best passing offense in C-USA (334 yards
per game) and the No. 9 passing offense in the country.
Quarterback Mike White was voted to the Second Team for the second-consecutive year,
after producing 79.8 percent of WKU’s total offense through the air. He passed for
3,826 yards with 24 touchdowns compared to only seven interceptions. The Pembroke
Pines, Fla., native threw for 300-plus yards in each of the past seven games, with
22 touchdowns in that span. Since 2016, White’s 8,189 yards and 622 completions are
the second-most nationally.
Safety Devon Key, long snapper Ben Reeder and right guard Tyler Witt represent the
Hilltoppers on the All-Freshman Team, after WKU had running back Quinton Baker voted
to the squad last season.
Key made 85 tackles (which led WKU defensive backs) – including four for loss – with
an interception and a pair of pass breakups. Reeder made all 107 (54 punting and 53
place-kicking) snaps without issue, including a pair of successful trick play snaps.
Witt, meanwhile, earned his second league honor in the past week, after being named
to the C-USA All-Academic Team for his work in the classroom.
The Hilltoppers picked up 10 All-Conference Honorable Mention accolades; three on
offense, four on defense and three specialists.
After Second Team honors in 2016, Joe Brown, Jake Collins and Kylen Towner earned
Honorable Mention for their 2017 performances. For back-to-back seasons, defensive
tackle Chris Johnson was Honorable Mention, while Nacarius Fant earned Honorable
Mention as a wide receiver after earning First Team punt returner status in 2016.
Finally, DeAndre Farris, Drell Greene, Lucky Jackson, Ben Reeder and Deon Yelder
earned Honorable Mention for the first time.
As one of eight teams in the nation to enter bowl season on the hunt for a
fourth-straight bowl title, WKU will face Georgia State in the AutoNation Cure Bowl
in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 16. The bowl game, played in Camping World Stadium in
Orlando, is set for a 1:30 p.m. CT kick off and will be aired nationally on CBS
First Team All-Conference USA
Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB, r-Jr.
Brandon Ray, LG, r-Sr.
Second Team All-Conference USA
Mike White, QB, g-Sr.
All-Conference USA Honorable Mention
Joe Brown, CB, Sr.
Jake Collins, P, r-Jr.
Nacarius Fant, WR, Sr.
DeAndre Farris, CB, r-Jr.
Drell Greene, S, Jr.
Lucky Jackson, WR, r-So.
Chris Johnson, DT, Sr.
Ben Reeder, LS, Fr.
Kylen Towner, KR, r-Sr.
Deon Yelder, TE, r-Sr.
Conference USA All-Freshman Team
Devon Key, S, r-Fr.
Ben Reeder, LS, Fr.
Tyler Witt, RG, r-Fr.
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