As announced by the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference on Tuesday (Nov. 19) afternoon, Ashland University tailback Gei'vonni Washington turned a terrific rookie season into the 2019 GLIAC Freshman of the Year award.
Washington led the GLIAC with 1,205 rushing yards, 264 carries and 1,453 all-purpose yards during his freshman campaign. He ended the year with eight consecutive 100-yard rushing games, becoming the first Eagle to accomplish the feat since D.J. McCoy in 2010, and set a new program record for most rushing yards in a season by a rookie.
Washington becomes the fourth Ashland player this decade to earn GLIAC Freshman of the Year honors, along with quarterbacks Austin Brenner (2018) and Travis Tarnowski (2014), and defensive tackle Jamie Meder (2010).
A pair of Eagles earned first-team All-GLIAC recognition – senior left tackle Ryan Maguire and senior linebacker Clay Shreve. Maguire anchored Ashland's offensive line, helping the Eagle offense to 396.3 yards and 24.7 points per game, while Shreve was AU's leading tackler with 96 total stops, to go with a half-sack, 8½ tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
This is the third consecutive season Shreve has earned first-team All-GLIAC honors.
Seven Ashland players landed on the All-GLIAC second team, including Washington and:
- Brenner passed for 2,121 yards and 12 touchdowns, rushed for 746 yards and four TDs, and led the GLIAC with a 41.6-yard average and 18 punts inside the 20-yard line.
- Sophomore fullback Austin Williams ran for 79 yards and two touchdowns, while helping lead the way for Washington's record-setting season.
- Junior wide receiver Logan Bolin caught a GLIAC-high 53 passes for 791 yards and six touchdowns, including the game-winning 52-yard Hail Mary at Grand Valley State.
- Senior stud Tristan Reichelderfer was the Ashland sack leader with five, and added 69 total tackles, 7½ tackles for loss, a forced fumble and two blocked kicks.
- Senior safety Nick Powers missed four games due to injury, but still posted 40 total tackles, a sack, three tackles for loss and an interception.
- Junior kicker Satchel Denton led the GLIAC with 12 field goals, and his 66 points were tops on the team.
Eagles earning All-GLIAC honorable mention all were on the defensive side of the ball – junior linebacker Ryan Corkrean (81 total tackles, 1½ sacks, 7½ tackles for loss, one fumble recovery), senior defensive tackle Michael Hopewell (22 total tackles, a half-sack and 1½ tackles for loss), sophomore defensive end Curtis Roupe (48 total tackles, 2½ sacks, six tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery), freshman cornerback Jourdan Swett (44 total tackles, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one interception, 11 pass breakups), sophomore cornerback Justin Moore (69 tackles, two tackles for loss, two interceptions), and sophomore defensive tackle Nick Cone (29 total tackles, one sack, 2½ tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery).
Ashland finished 2019 at 7-4 overall and 6-2 in the GLIAC, good for a third-place finish. Included in that schedule was the Eagles' 500th all-time win, a 31-28 come-from-behind decision at Northwood on Sept. 28.
The other 2019 GLIAC football award winners were Ferris State's Austin Edwards (Player of the Year), Wayne State's Deiontae Nicholas (Offensive Back of the Year), Ferris State's Tyler Allison (Offensive Lineman of the Year), Saginaw Valley State's Heath Williams (Defensive Lineman of the Year), Ferris State's James Caesar (Defensive Back of the Year) and Wayne State's Paul Winters (Coach of the Year).