Herd TE Yurachek named preseason all-conference


Marshall picked to finish 4th in C-USA East Division

By Alex Hawley - ahawley@civitasmedia.com



Marshall tight end Ryan Yurachek (85) makes a catch and is downed in between a pair of Akron defenders, during the Herd’s 65-38 loss, in Huntington on September 17, 2016.


IRVING, Texas — Thundering Herd tight end Ryan Yurachek was one of 29 players named to the All-Conference USA preseason team, as selected by the 14 head coaches from within the conference.

This is the second straight season that Yurachek has been named to the all-conference preseason team, but, after being joined by three teammates last year, he is the lone Marshall representative on the 2017 preseason team.

Yurachek, a 6-foot-3 senior, enters his final campaign for the Herd with a streak of 29 straight games with at least one reception. Yurachek is the team’s active leader in career receptions with 89, receiving yards with 864, and receiving touchdowns with 16.

As a junior Yurachek earned his second straight all-conference honorable mention, hauling in 28 receptions for 298 yards and five touchdowns.

Reigning Conference USA champion Western Kentucky led all teams with seven selections to the preseason squad. The Hilltoppers, who visit Joan C. Edwards Stadium on November 11, also claimed two of the top-3 individual awards.

WKU senior quarterback Mike White was named preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while senior kick returner Kylen Towner was selected as preseason Special Teams Player of the Year. Rice senior linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee was named preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

Old Dominion and Texas at San Antonio both claimed four spots on the preseason team, while Rice, Southern Mississippi, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Texas at El Paso and Middle Tennessee each had two selections. Along with Marshall, Florida International also had just one selection.

On Tuesday, the conference releases its preseason media poll, with Western Kentucky picked to win the East Division and Louisiana Tech chosen atop the West Division, both receiving 20 first place votes.

The Thundering Herd took home one first place vote and were ranked fourth among seven teams in the East Division. Marshall was just 3-9 overall last fall, including 2-6 in Conference USA.

On December 2, for the 13th consecutive year, the East Division and West Division champions will meet in the Conference USA championship game.

2017 Conference USA preseason team

Offense

QB — Mike White, Sr., WKU

RB — Ray Lawry, Sr., Old Dominion

RB — Ito Smith, Sr., Southern Miss

OL — O’Shea Dugas, Jr., Louisiana Tech

OL — Will Hernandez, Sr., UTEP

OL — Trey Martin, Sr., Rice

OL — Austin Pratt, Sr., UTSA

OL — Brandon Ray, Sr., WKU

TE — Ryan Yurachek, Sr., Marshall

WR — Richie James, Jr., Middle Tennessee

WR — Jonathan Duhart, Sr., Old Dominion

WR — Allenzae Staggers, Sr., Southern Miss

Defense

DL — Marcus Davenport, Sr., UTSA

DL — Jaylon Ferguson, So., Louisiana Tech

DL — Chris Johnson, Sr., WKU

DL — Oshane Ximines, Jr., Old Dominion

LB — Emmanuel Ellerbee, Sr., Rice

LB — Alvin Jones, Sr., UTEP

LB — Josiah Tauaefa, So., UTSA

LB — Anthony Wint, Sr., FIU

DB — Brandon Addison, Sr., Old Dominion

DB — Nate Brooks, Jr., North Texas

DB — Joe Brown, Sr., WKU

DB — Kishawn McClain, Sr., North Texas

Special Teams

K — Canon Rooker, Sr., Middle Tennessee

P — Jake Collins, Jr., WKU

KR — Kylen Towner, Sr., WKU

PR — Nacarius Fant, Sr., WKU

LS — Matt Bayliss, Sr., UTSA

Offensive Player of the Year: Mike White, Sr., QB, WKU

Defensive Player of the Year: Emmanuel Ellerbee, Sr., LB, Rice

Special Teams Player of the Year: Kylen Towner, Sr., KR, WKU

2017 Conference USA preseason media poll

East Division

1. Western Kentucky (20); 2. Middle Tennessee (4); 3. Old Dominion (3); 4. Marshall (1); 5. Florida Atlantic; 6. Florida International; 7. Charlotte.

West Division

1. Louisiana Tech (20); 2. UTSA (7); 3. Southern Miss (1); 4. North Texas; 5. Rice; 6. UTEP; 7. UAB.

(Indicates first place votes).

Marshall tight end Ryan Yurachek (85) makes a catch and is downed in between a pair of Akron defenders, during the Herd’s 65-38 loss, in Huntington on September 17, 2016.
http://mydailyregister.aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2017/07/web1_7.19-MU-Yurachek.jpgMarshall tight end Ryan Yurachek (85) makes a catch and is downed in between a pair of Akron defenders, during the Herd’s 65-38 loss, in Huntington on September 17, 2016.
Marshall picked to finish 4th in C-USA East Division

By Alex Hawley

ahawley@civitasmedia.com

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