Marshall football announces season award winners

Published 7:06 pm Thursday, December 7, 2023


 Associate Athletic Director of Strategic Communications

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall Football’s 2023 award winners were honored recently at the team’s 2023 Football Banquet, which took place on Sunday night.

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The event was sponsored by Marshall’s Quarterback Club and took place in the Don Morris Room at the Memorial Student Center.

Owen Porter took home the night’s top honor as Team MVP while Rasheen Ali and Eli Neal were named as the Offensive and Defensive MVPs. Jayden Harrison was the Special Teams MVP.

Porter has tallied 57 tackles and a team-best 15 tackles for loss with five sacks, 13 quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles while serving as the emotional and vocal leader of the team.

Ali has rushed for 1,043 yards and 14 touchdowns while also hauling in 28 passes for 213 yards and another score. He became just the fifth Marshall player in history with multiple 1,000-yard seasons.

Neal leads Marshall with 85 tackles while adding 9.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery. He joins Porter as sixth-year players who serve as the pulse of the team.

Harrison leads FBS in average yards per kick return at 31.9 yards per return. He also had a pair of kickoff returns for touchdown – a 94-yard return against James Madison and a 98-yard return against Georgia Southern. Recently, Harrison was named a 2023 Jet Award finalist and a CBS Sports / 247Sports First Team All-America selection.

The highlight of the night was the presentation of the prestigious Phil Ratliff Distinguished Alumnus Award, which went to Red Dawson.

Dawson, who served as a Marshall assistant coach from 1968-71, was a key figure in the program’s immediate rebuild after the 1970 Marshall plane crash and has continued to be an important figure in Marshall’s football program in the five-plus decades since.

Prior to the 2023 season, Marshall head coach Charles Huff named him as an honorary coach for this year’s team in a ceremony at Spring Hill Cemetery.

Here is the full list of 2023 Marshall Football Award winners:

Team MVP Award

Owen Porter, Defensive End

Defensive MVP Award

Eli Neal, linebacker

Offensive MVP Award

Rasheen Ali, running back

Special Teams MVP Award

Jayden Harrison, kick returner

Phil Ratliff Distinguished Alumnus

Red Dawson, Honorary Coach

President’s Award  – player(s) from each unit showing perseverance to make outstanding contributions to team success

Joe Murray, defensive end

T.J. McMahon, quarterback

Isaiah Gibson, Sr., defensive tackle

Chad Pennington Offensive Achievement Award – player who has played a critical role in effectiveness of unit on and off the field

Caleb McMillan, wide receiver

Tom Stark Defensive Achievement Award – player who has played a critical role in effectiveness of unit on and off the field

KeSean Brown, linebacker

Up Front Award – given to the most valuable Defensive Lineman

Kylen McCracken, defensive tackle

Jim Conard Award – given to the most valuable Offensive Lineman

Ethan Driskell, offensive tackle

Outstanding Defensive Performer Award – given to player with most tackles/points

Sam Burton, defensive end

Eternal Captain Award – given to permanent team captain, as voted by Marshall staff

Talik Keaton, wide receiver

Scout Team Award, Special Teams

Jason Haggerty, cornerback

Scout Team Award, Offense

Jack Schierholz, quarterback

Most Inspiring Player Award (2)

Jahsen Wint, defensive back

Chris Bradberry, offensive lineman

Iron Man Award – given to players showing most year-round dedication to strength and conditioning program

Logan Osburn, offensive lineman

Elijah Alston, defensive lineman

Commitment to Academic Excellence Award

Logan Osburn, offensive lineman

Outstanding Senior Scholar – senior with highest GPA

Chris Mottillo, tight end

Unsung Hero Award – given to players who made significant contributions to team success while receiving least recognition

Darryle Simmons, wide receiver

Luke Soto, tight end

Ishmael Roy, wide receiver

DeMarcus Harris, wide receiver

Mason Pierce, wide receiver

Myles Bell, cornerback