Quarterback Mike White’s spot on the First Team highlighted six WKU Football student-athletes on Phil Steele’s 2017 Postseason All-Conference USA squads, it was announced Wednesday.
In addition, linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe and defensive tackle Chris Johnson claimed Second Team honors, while wide receiver Nacarius Fant, left guard Brandon Ray and tight end Deon Yelder are on the Third Team. All six of the Hilltoppers had also been recognized by league coaches as 2017 All C-USA First Team, Second Team or Honorable Mention.
The graduate senior White produced 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.
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.
Johnson has wreaked havoc in opponents’ backfields since he arrived on The Hill, starting all 12 games for the Hilltoppers after starting all 14 contests in 2016. The Mississippi Gulf Coast transfer made 42 tackles – including 5.5 for loss – and a team-high seven quarterback hurries. He recorded multiple tackles in every game this season.
Fant led WKU with 67 catches and 634 yards, while adding four receiving scores and another passing. Ray made his 53rd career – and consecutive – start at FIU, setting the all-time Hilltopper program record for starts by an offensive or defensive player. Yelder made 47 catches for 576 yards and a team-high five touchdowns, while adding a rushing score vs. Florida Atlantic and a pair of two-point conversions this year for a team-high 40 total points scored.
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 2017 AutoNation Cure Bowl in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 16. The bowl game, played in Camping World Stadium, is set for a 1:30 p.m. CT kickoff and will be aired nationally on CBS Sports Network.
First Team All-Conference USA
Mike White, QB, g-Sr.
Second Team All-Conference USA
Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB, r-Jr.
Chris Johnson, DT, Sr.
Third Team All-Conference USA
Nacarius Fant, WR, Sr.
Brandon Ray, LG, r-Sr.
Deon Yelder, TE, r-Sr.
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Assistant Director of Media Relations
WKU Hilltopper Athletics