UT quarterback, football coach honored by MAC

November 29, 2017 | Athletics, News
By Paul Helgren

Senior quarterback Logan Woodside was named Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year and the Vern Smith Leadership Award winner.

Jason Candle was named the MAC Coach of the Year after leading the Rockets to a 10-2 record in his second year as head coach. The Rockets won the MAC West Division with a 7-1 league record and will play East Division champion Akron for the MAC championship title Saturday, Dec. 2, at noon at Ford Field in Detroit.

Woodside was 225 of 345 passing for 3,451 yards and 24 touchdowns this season. His 3,451 passing yards leads the MAC and ranks 13th nationally, while his 24 touchdown passes also leads the MAC and is tied for 24th in the country.

During his Rockets career, Woodside became the first player in program history to throw for more than 10,000 yards as he set the Toledo career passing record with 10,083 career yards and 89 career touchdown passes. His 10,083 career passing yards ranks 14th in MAC history, while his 89 career passing touchdowns is tied for seventh in league history. In addition, Woodside’s career completion percentage of 65.5 percent ranks third in MAC history.

The Vern Smith Leadership Award, named for the former Toledo athletic director, has been given annually to the league’s most outstanding player since 1982. Woodside is the fourth Rocket to win the award. The others were Wasean Tait (1995), Bruce Gradkowski (2005) and Greg Mancz (2014).

Woodside was one of seven Rockets who earned first-team All-MAC honors, the most first-team honorees in the conference. This is his second consecutive season as a first-team All-MAC quarterback, the first Rocket QB to accomplish back-to-back first-team honors since Gene Swick, who was a three-time first-teamer from 1973 to 1975.

Sophomore Diontae Johnson earned all-league honors at three positions: wide receiver (first-team), punt returner (first team) and kickoff returner (second team). He is the first Rocket to make All-MAC at three positions since Eric Page in 2011.

The other Rockets on the first team were senior running back Terry Swanson, senior offensive linemen Elijah Nkansah and Brant Weiss, and junior placekicker Jameson Vest.

Junior defensive end Olasunkanmi Adeniyi earned second-team All-MAC honors.

Johnson leads the Rockets and is third in the MAC with 63 receptions this season. He is second in the conference and seventh in the nation with 11 touchdown receptions. He is averaging 6.1 yards per punt return and 23.5 yards per kickoff return, and is fifth in the nation in all-purpose yards (159.1).

Swanson has rushed for 1,139 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. He leads the MAC with 103.5 yards per game and ranks fifth on Toledo’s career rushing list with 3,377 yards.

Nkansah and Weiss are part of an offensive line that has helped the Rockets to a MAC-leading 505.7 yards per game. Toledo also averages 38.7 points per game, second in the league and just off the pace set by Ohio (38.9).

Vest leads the MAC and is second in the country with 24 field goals. He also tops the MAC in field-goal percentage, having made 24 of his 28 attempts (85.7 percent).

Adeniyi leads the Rockets and is tied for third in the MAC with 16.5 tackles for loss, the most by a Toledo player since Mike Alston had 17.0 in 2006. Adeniyi leads UT with 6.5 sacks and is second on the team with 57 tackles.

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