North Carolina A&T running back Mike Mayhew and Howard linebacker Keith Pough received top honors as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced its 2012 preseason football team at the annual Football Press Luncheon Banquet last week at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel in Virginia.
Mayhew was selected as the preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Pough was named the preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
All preseason honors are voted on by the MEAC’s head football coaches and sports information directors.
Mayhew, a native of Charlotte, led the MEAC in rushing with 1,120 yards on 231 total attempts. He averaged 101.8 yards per game and recorded nine touchdowns. A fifth-year senior, Mayhew earned a share of the conference’s postseason Player of the Year honor last year. He also ranked 3rd in all purpose yards with 1,222 yards with 93 yards through the air.
Pough led the conference in total tackles with 120 including 10.9 per game. He posted 71 solo tackles and ranked second in the MEAC in tackles for loss with 21.0. He also added 3.0 sacks, two breakups, 11 hurries, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble. The senior linebacker from Orangeburg, S.C., helped Howard to a 4-4 finish in conference play and a 5-6 overall record.
Norfolk State, which earned its first-ever conference title in 2011 with a 7-1 MEAC mark and 9-3 record overall, was picked to finish first in the upcoming season. The Spartans return 43 student-athletes from last year’s team, including 13 starters, nine on offense. South Carolina State was picked to finish second and Bethune-Cookman rounded out the top three positions.
Hampton led all teams with eight student-athletes receiving preseason honors including seven on the second team. Florida A&M had five student-athletes to earn first-team honors, followed by Bethune-Cookman with four.