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Jose Ramirez is EMU's First-Ever MAC Defensive Player of the Year
Four First Team All-MAC Players ties record mark for EMU.
Jose Ramirez’s 2022 season at defensive end for Eastern Michigan was one for the record books. Ramirez finished the year as the #2 player nationally with 12 total sacks, tied for 3rd with 19.5 TFL made (101 yards lost ties national lead), also had 62 total tackles, 10 QB hurries, forced a couple of fumbles and broke up two passes.
Ramirez was, without question, one of the most impactful players in the country this year. The MAC coaches agreed, and he was recognized as the league’s top defender on Wednesday.
Ramirez was a no-brainer pick to be a team captain before the year and has been an upbeat model for the team to rally with all season long. Now, it’s just wait-and-see time for other postseason awards that may come his way.
Could #4 be an All-American?
The D-end was just one of nine EMU Eagles to earn All-MAC honors this year, including four First Team selections: Ramirez, OL Sidy Sow, KR Jaylon Jackson, and P Mitchell Tomasek.
It’s the third time in school history that EMU has had this many First Teamers. The last time EMU achieved this mark back when it was the Hurons: 1977. (Their names: Rollie Hansen, Ron Johnson, Tom Williams and Bobby Windom).
This is Sow’s second-straight year as a First Team All-MAC pick (Third Team in 2020), and will leave the team with the most career games played (56) and started (54).
Jackson’s 87 and 89-yard punt returns early on in the season meant special teams coaches planned to kick away from #28 on kickoffs. The redshirt-freshman transfer from Lamar had 21 kick returns for 551 total yards, 26.2 yards per clip. After a hot start, Jackson’s return average finished #10 nationally.
Tomasek, a first-year punter who battled his way onto the field had a dynamite season. He punted 45 times for an average of 44.31 yards per kick (24th nationally), had 6 fall as touchbacks, 4 were fair caught, 14 landed inside the 20, and 12 were booted for 50+ yards. In the season finale, Ramirez let Tomasek take the senior’s place in the pregame coin toss at midfield.
Other Eagles to receive all-conference honors this season included: WR Hassan Beydoun (Third Team) OL Brian Dooley (Second Team), RB Samson Evans (Second Team), K Jesus Gomez (Third Team), and WR Tanner Knue (Third Team).
Kurtis Rourke won the MAC’s MVP, and I didn’t have much doubt that he’d run away with the award. Honestly, I’m just really glad he gets to bring the honor back home. To me, he seemed the most deserving player to win it, and Ohio’s 2022 season is one that we’ll be talking about for a long time after it’s done, no matter what happens on Saturday while the QB is forced to stand on the sidelines. Rourke’s season was cut short by suffering a leg injury against Ball State, Game 11. He told ESPN that he’ll be back next year, but it’s a stinger to have the league’s top player out of the most important game of the year.
Rourke’s 296 passing yards per game is ranked 11th nationally, and his 69.1% passing rate is good for 7th.
The advanced numbers love him more. Pro Football Focus graded the Maple Missle out as its #1 college passer in America through the 2022 regular season. PFF’s passer grade for Rourke: 92.1.
Of his 352 recorded pass attempts, only 2.9% of those throws were deemed turnover-worthy. Of QBs to throw the ball at least 150 times this season, Rourke’s adjusted completion percentage (77.8%), which takes drops and targets into account, ranks 14th nationally.
Ohio’s 9-3 and is going to the MAC Championship game to finally do something that unfortunately was never accomplished under Frank Solich. Rourke may not physically be able to contribute on Saturday, but he’s definitely the reason why this team’s able to make the trip to Detroit.
Here are the full list of All-MAC honorees of the 2022 season. Congrats to everybody that made the cut, and shame on the voters for leaving everybody else off.
2022 MAC Specialty Award Winners
Coach of the Year: Tim Albin, Ohio
Vern Smith Leadership Award Winner: Kurtis Rourke, QB, Ohio
Offensive Player of the Year: Kurtis Rourke, QB, Ohio
Defensive Player of the Year: Jose Ramirez, DL, Eastern Michigan
Special Teams Player of the Year: Alex McNulty, PK, Buffalo
Freshman of the Year: Sieh Bangura, RB, Ohio
2022 All-MAC First Team Offense
Quarterback – Kurtis Rourke, Ohio
Offensive Lineman – Sidy Sow, Eastern Michigan
Offensive Lineman – Marcellus Marshall, Kent State
Offensive Lineman – Nolan Potter, Northern Illinois
Offensive Lineman – Hagen Meservy, Ohio
Offensive Lineman – Nick Rosi, Toledo
Tight End – Brady Hunt, Ball State
Wide Receiver – Alex Adams, Akron
Wide Receiver – Devontez Walker, Kent State
Wide Receiver – Dante Cephas, Kent State
Wide Receiver – Sam Wiglusz, Ohio
Running Back – Carson Steele, Ball State
Running Back – Marquez Cooper, Kent State
Placekicker – Alex McNulty, Buffalo
2022 All-MAC First Team Defense
Down Lineman – Karl Brooks, Bowling Green
Down Lineman – Thomas Incoom, Central Michigan
Down Lineman – Jose Ramirez, Eastern Michigan
Down Lineman – Desjuan Johnson, Toledo
Linebacker – Bubba Arslanian, Akron
Linebacker – Shaun Dolac, Buffalo
Linebacker – Dallas Gant, Toledo
Linebacker – Zaire Barnes, Western Michigan
Defensive Back – Marcus Fuqua, Buffalo
Defensive Back – Donte Kent, Central Michigan
Defensive Back – Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo
Defensive Back – Maxen Hook, Toledo
Punter – Mitchell Tomasek, Eastern Michigan
2022 All-MAC First Team Specialists
Kickoff Return Specialist – Jaylon Jackson, Eastern Michigan
Kickoff Return Specialist – Keegan Wilburn, Ohio
2022 All-MAC Second Team Offense
Quarterback – Dequan Finn, Toledo
Offensive Lineman – Ethan Crowe, Ball State
Offensive Lineman – Jamezz Kimbrough, Central Michigan
Offensive Lineman – Brian Dooley, Eastern Michigan
Dooley, also named a preseason team captain, played the third-most snaps for the EMU offense this season (851), and was the team’s highest-graded pass blocker on the team’s starting O-line (70.9).
Offensive Lineman – Sam Allan, Kent State
Offensive Lineman – Rusty Feth, Miami
Tight End – Christian Sims, Bowling Green
Wide Receiver – Jayshon Jackson, Ball State
Wide Receiver – Odieu Hillare, Bowling Green
Wide Receiver – Mac Hippenhammer, Miami
Wide Receiver – Jerjuan Newton, Toledo
Wide Receiver – Corey Crooms, Western Michigan
Running Back – Samson Evans, Eastern Michigan
Evans finished the season as the MAC’s #3 rusher at 98.6 rushing yards per game and tied for second at 13 TD scored. He was third in total yards (1,084) and 12th in rush average (4.84).
Running Back – Sean Tyler, Western Michigan
Placekicker – Nathanial Vakos, Ohio
2022 All-MAC Second Team Defense
Down Lineman – DeVonte O'Malley, Northern Illinois
Down Lineman – Jamal Hines, Toledo
Down Lineman – Andre Carter, Western Michigan
Down Lineman – Brandon Fiske, Western Michigan
Linebacker – Clayton Coll, Ball State
Linebacker – James Patterson, Buffalo
Linebacker – Ryan McWood, Miami
Linebacker – Dyontae Johnson, Toledo
Defensive Back – Amechi Uzodinma, Ball State
Defensive Back – Nic Jones, Ball State
Defensive Back – Nico Bolden, Kent State
Defensive Back – C.J. Brown, Northern Illinois
Defensive Back – Nate Bauer, Toledo
Punter – Dom Dzioban, Miami
2022 All-MAC Second Team Specialists
Kickoff Return Specialist – Ta'ron Keith, Bowling Green
Kickoff Return Specialist – Ja'Shaun Poke, Kent State
2022 All-MAC Third Team Offense
Quarterback – DJ Irons, Akron
Quarterback – Collin Schlee, Kent State
Offensive Lineman – Anthony Whigan, Akron
Offensive Lineman – Gabe Wallace, Buffalo
Offensive Lineman – Desmond Bessent, Buffalo
Offensive Lineman – Deiyantei Powell-Woods, Central Michigan
Offensive Lineman – Logan Zschemitz, Northern Illinois
Tight End – Joel Wilson, Central Michigan
Wide Receiver – Shocky Jacques-Louis, Akron
Wide Receiver – Quian Williams, Buffalo
Wide Receiver – Tanner Knue, Eastern Michigan
Knue was EMU’s leading receiver with 592 receiving yards and 9 TD scored, second on the team with 42 receptions made.
Wide Receiver – Hassan Beydoun, Eastern Michigan
Beydoun, who wore the #2 jersey for EMU this season, had a team-best 47 catches for 451 yards and scored 4 times.
Running Back – Harrison Waylee, Northern Illinois
Running Back – Sieh Bangura, Ohio
Placekicker – Jesus Gomez, Eastern Michigan
Gomez, in his first season as the team’s kicker, was 13/16 on field goal tries but perfect on all 43 of his PAT kicks.
2022 All-MAC Third Team Defense
Down Lineman – Zay West, Kent State
Down Lineman – Michael Kennedy, Northern Illinois
Down Lineman – James Ester, Northern Illinois
Down Lineman – Jack McCrory, Ohio
Linebacker – Kyle Moretti, Central Michigan
Linebacker – Matthew Salopek, Miami
Linebacker – Keye Thompson, Ohio
Linebacker – Corvin Moment, Western Michigan
Defensive Back – Jordan Riley, Ball State
Defensive Back – John Saunders Jr., Miami
Defensive Back – Tariq Drake, Ohio
Defensive Back – Keni-H Lovely, Western Michigan
Punter – Luke Elzinga, Central Michigan
2022 All-MAC Third Team Specialists
Kickoff Return Specialist – Jalen Walker, Miami
Kickoff Return Specialist – De'Javion Stepney, Central Michigan
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