Herd lands 12 on All-SBC football team

Published 8:23 pm Thursday, November 30, 2023


Marshall Athletics

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall Football had 12 players named as All-Sun Belt Conference selections, the league released on Thursday morning.

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Cornerback Micah Abraham, defensive end Owen Porter and return specialist Jayden Harrison were all named as All-SBC First Team honorees.

“I’m really proud of the work these guys put in and I’m happy that their work and efforts are being recognized as some of the best in this conference,” Marshall head coach Charles Huff said. “These guys deserve everything that comes their way.”

Abraham leads the Sun Belt and is currently No. 3 in FBS in passes defended in 2023 with 16. His three interceptions leads Marshall’s defense and his 13 pass breakups are also No. 4 in FBS. The 16 passes defended also give him a third straight season with 15 or more passes defended.

Porter was a force from his defensive end spot throughout the season, leading the Herd with 15 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles while adding five sacks and 13 quarterback hurries. His 57 tackles were fourth-most on the team.

Harrison leads FBS with an average of 31.86 yards per kickoff return. Harrison has two kickoff returns for touchdowns this season – a 94-yard return for a score against James Madison and a 98-yard kickoff return to open the Herd’s win over Georgia Southern. For the season, Harrison has 669 kickoff return yards on 21 returns. Harrison also has 22 catches for 278 yards and a score on the year.

Marshall running back Rasheen Ali was the Herd’s lone member of the All-SBC Second Team.

Ali has rushed for 1,043 yards and 14 touchdowns this season, making him only the fifth player in Marshall history to have multiple 1,000-yard seasons (2021). Ali’s 14 rushing touchdowns and his 15 total touchdowns are each top-15 in FBS and he’s scored multiple touchdowns in six of 11 games he’s played in this season.

Marshall placed four players on the All-SBC Third Team: offensive lineman Ethan Driskell, defensive lineman Elijah Alston, linebacker Eli Neal and punter John McConnell.

Driskell started all 13 games at left tackle for the Herd this season and has now started in 25 consecutive games in his Marshall career. He’s part of an offensive line that has produced a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the last three seasons.

Alston led Marshall’s defense with 16 quarterback hurries and finished with 41 tackles, including 10.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks. He also showed a knack for turnovers, forcing a fumble and returning an interception 85 yards for a score against ODU.

Neal leads the Herd defense with 85 tackles, including 9.5 TFLs and two sacks. Neal, who teamed with Porter as the vocal and emotional leaders for the Herd defense, added an interception and a fumble recovery.

McConnell averaged 42.8 yards per punt this season on 61 punts. The sophomore from Morgantown, W.Va., has 15 punts inside the 20 and his long of 74 yards was the longest by an SBC punter this season.

Marshall also had four players named as All-SBC Honorable Mention selections: offensive linemen Dalton Tucker and Logan Osburn (both started all 12 games), defensive back J.J. Roberts (73 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 FF) and defensive lineman Sam Burton (38 tackles, 7 TFLs, 6.5 sacks, 8 QB hurries).