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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Hood, 13 players honored in end-of-the-year awards

Head Football Coach Dean Hood was named OVC Coach of the Year and Region 3 Coach of the Year. (Photo courtesy of Racer Athletics)

Jakob Milani

Staff Writer

[email protected]

After a 5-2 finish to the shortened regular season, the Murray State football team took home many end-of-the-year honors, with 13 players being selected to All-OVC teams.

Two Racers were voted to the All-OVC Newcomer team. Junior defensive lineman Ethan Edmundson finished the season with 26 total tackles, five tackles-for-loss and two sacks. Freshman running back Demonta Witherspoon finished the season with 501 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns on 107 attempts.

Three Racers were selected for the All-OVC Second Team Defense. Edmundson, sophomore defensive-lineman Izaiah Reed and sophomore inside-linebacker Alec Long were all selected. Reed finished with 22 tackles, 4.5 tackles-for-loss and two sacks in the season. Long had 61 tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss and one sack this season.

The Racers also had three players selected to the All-OVC Second Team Offense. Witherspoon, sophomore wide receiver Jacob Bell and junior quarterback Preston Rice were selected. Bell finished the season with 305 yards and a touchdown on 21 catches, averaging 14.52 yards per catch. Rice was 93-179 passing this season with 1294 passing yards, nine passing touchdowns and five interceptions. Rice also had 225 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns.

Three more Racers were voted to the All-OVC First Team Defense. Sophomore cornerback Marcis Floyd finished the season with 32 tackles, six pass breakups, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. Junior outside-linebacker Scotty Humpich had 24 tackles, 4.5 tackles-for-loss, two sacks and five quarterback rushes in the season. Junior inside-linebacker Eric Samuta led the team with 64 total tackles and five tackles-for-loss, as well as an interception and a fumble recovery.

A total of four Racers made the All-OVC First Team Offense, including senior offensive lineman Jacob Vance and junior offensive lineman Levi Nesler. Joining them is junior wide receiver LaMartez Brooks, who had 429 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 37 catches, averaging 11.59 yards per catch. Fifth-year senior wide receiver Malik Honeycutt was the fourth and final Racer to be voted to the team with 180 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown and 224 total return yards on special teams.

Head Coach Dean Hood was named OVC Coach of the Year for the 2021 spring season and was named one of 16 finalists for the 2021 FCS Stats Perform Eddie Robinson Award. In his first year as head coach, Hood turned the Racers football program from a 4-8 team in 2019 to a 5-2 win team this season. The Racers had four comeback wins on the season and a total of 25 touchdowns while only allowing 20 touchdowns throughout the season. Hood was also named the Region 3 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association, marking his second time winning the award.

The Racers, who barely missed the playoffs this season, will have a quick turnaround for their next season in the fall. The Racers are set to begin their fall campaign on Saturday, Sept. 4, at home against Mississippi Valley.

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