BAY CITY, Mich. -- Junior Jake Mayon (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield East) was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Back of the Year. Mayon and sophomore John Kwiecinski (Plymouth, Mich./Orchard Lake St. Mary's) were named to the All-GLIAC First Team while senior Darryl Williams (Cooper City, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) was named to the Second Team. Six players were named honorable mention.
Mayon finished the 2017 season leading the GLIAC with 1,377 yards, averaging 137.7 per game on 211 carries. Scoring eight touchdowns on the year, Mayon posted more than 200 yards rushing on four occasions and had six games with over 100 yards. He also finished the year with 203 yards receiving on 23 receptions. Against Michigan Tech, Mayon completed the only passing attempt of his career for a 30-yard touchdown.
Kwiecinski earned his first-team honors by pacing the GLIAC with a 41.0 yards per punt average. A season long of 65 yards, he placed 15 punts inside the 20-yard line while only three punts ended in touchbacks throught the entire season.
Williams earned a spot on the second team after posting 10.5 tackles a game, finishing second in the league. Notching eight tackles for loss, he added a fumble recovery and three pass breakups.
The Wildcats also placed six players on the All-GLIAC Football Honorable Mention Team. Senior Pat Ryan (Linden, Mich.), sophomores Abram Cook (Surprise, Ariz./Valley Vista), Ryan Knight (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Eastern), and Troy Mayon (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield East), redshirt freshman Tanner Kruzel (Boyne City, Mich.) and freshman John McMullen (Kankakee, Ill.).
Ryan led the conference with 10.6 tackles a game and finished with three interceptions. Cook posted 31 tackles, with 9.5 tackles for loss. Knight led the receiving corp. with 31 receptions, 453 yards and five touchdowns. Mayon ended the year third on the team with 79 tackles, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. Kruzel finished with 17 receptions, was second on the Wildcats with 318 receiving yards, and added two touchdowns. McMullen finished his freshman season with 41 tackles and a team-best 4.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss.
The 2017 Wildcats showed great improvement throughout the season. Despite a roster that saw a high number of freshman seeing significant playing time, NMU fell by a total of just five points in their final two contests.