The league’s most valuable player in the Mid-American Conference in the 2019 football season is Western Michigan senior running back LeVante Bellamy. That was one of three awards Bellamy took home on Wednesday as he was also named the MAC offensive player of the year and was voted the Vern Smith Leadership Award winner.
Bellamy was one of 12 Broncos to earn 13 all-league awards with six first-team selections, four second-team picks and three third-team selections.
Also highlighting the day for WMU was sophomore linebacker Treshaun Hayward being named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year. Western Michigan is the first MAC program to have the league’s offensive and defensive players of the year since Marshall in 2001 (Byron Leftwich, offensive), (Max Yates, defensive). It is the first time in WMU history that the program has been recognized for having the top players on offense and defense.
Bellamy, who is also a Doak Walker Award semifinalist, leads the nation with 23 rushing touchdowns on the season and ranks eighth in the country with 1,412 rushing yards. Bellamy is just 11 yards shy of fourth place on the all-time rushing yardage list in WMU history. He is also a two-time MAC Offensive Player of the Week this season.
Bellamy is the fifth player in WMU history to win the Vern Smith Leadership Award as the MAC MVP and is the fourth in school history to receive MAC Offensive Player of the Year.
Joining Bellamy on the first-team offensive honors are senior center Luke Juriga, senior tight end Giovanni Ricci and freshman receiver Skyy Moore. Juriga and Bellamy repeat as first-team honorees from a year ago as Ricci was a third-team selection last season.
On the second-team, two Broncos offensive linemen appeared on the list with juniors Jaylon Moore and Mike Caliendo receiving the honors.
The third team featured senior quarterback Jon Wassink.
On defense, Hayward was the lone Bronco to receive first-team honors, while senior linebacker Drake Spears and senior defensive end Ali Fayad made the second-team. Sophomore cornerback Patrick Lupro rounded out the defensive honors for WMU, appearing on the third-team.
Hayward is the eight MAC Defensive Player of the Year in WMU history and the first since Drew Nowak in 2011.
On the year, Hayward leads the Broncos in tackles with 132, which is second in the MAC and fifth most nationally. His 10.5 tackles for loss is tied for 10th in the conference while his 5.0 sacks are tied for seventh most.
On special teams, senior Keith Mixon, Jr., a graduate transfer from Mississippi State, earned multiple honors. Mixon, Jr. was named to the first-team for kickoff returns and appeared on the third-team for punt returns.
Mixon, Jr. took over as the Broncos top returner this season, averaging 28.24 yards per return on kick returns and 4.33 yards per return on punts. Nationally, Mixon ranks ninth in kickoff return average.
In total, WMU led the league with six first-team honorees and paces the MAC with 32 all-conference players since 2017.
WMU’s regular season has come to a close, but they will now await their bowl game announcement to come this weekend. The Broncos finished the regular season at 7-5 overall with a 5-3 record in MAC play, good for second in the MAC West division.