IRVING, TX (ConferenceUSA.com) - Conference USA announced its 2015 Players of the Year today, as selected by the league’s 13 head football coaches. C-USA is completing its 20th football campaign by sending five teams to bowl games.
WKU senior QB Brandon Doughty is the recipient of the Conference USA Most Valuable Player Award, becoming the first player in league history to win the award in back-to-back seasons. It also marks the seventh time in the last eight seasons that a quarterback has been named C-USA Most Valuable Player. The five-time C-USA Offensive Player of the Week leads the FBS in passing touchdowns (45) and completion percentage (71.8) this season, while ranking while ranking second in passing yards (4,594). Doughty is just the third QB in FBS history to throw for more than 4,000 yards and 40+ touchdowns in back-to-back seasons. He has thrown a touchdown pass in 27 straight games, which is the longest active streak in the FBS. Doughty led the Hilltoppers to the Conference USA Championship, the school’s first title since moving to the FBS level.
Southern Miss junior QB Nick Mullens was named the Offensive Player of the Year after helping the Golden Eagles become the most improved program in the FBS (+6 wins). With Mullens at the helm, the Golden Eagles have broken single-season school records for completions (312), passing yards (4,263), total offensive yards (6,758) and touchdowns (67), and points (528). He ranks second in the league in yards (4,145) and touchdown passes (36), placing sixth nationally in TD tosses. Mullens is the first Southern Miss player to be named Offensive Player of the Year in the school’s 20-year history in the league.
Defensive recognition went to Marshall senior LB Evan McKelvey, the second straight year a Thundering Herd linebacker has garnered the honor (Neville Hewitt in 2014). McKelvey, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, places second in the conference with 113 tackles, has nine tackles for loss, nine passes defended, an interception and a forced fumble.
The Special Teams Player of the Year award went to Marshall senior return specialist Deandre Reaves. He has a league-leading 30.5 yard kickoff average on 22 returns with two kickoff returns for touchdowns. Reaves also has a punt return for touchdown, making him the first Herd player to score on a kick return and a punt return in the same season since Troy Brown in 1991.
Freshman of the Year honors were given to Middle Tennessee QB Brent Stockstill, who broke the league’s record for passing yards by a freshman. With 3,678 passing yards, Stockstill has broken the freshman record of 3,128, set by former Southern Miss and current Cleveland Browns QB Austin Davis in 2008. Stockstill leads the nation’s freshmen in yards and touchdown passes (27), ranking 11th in yards and 16th in TD tosses among all FBS players.
Senior QB Jeff Driskel of Louisiana Tech garnered the league’s Newcomer of the Year award, becoming the second straight Bulldog signal-caller to win the award and making LA Tech the first school to take the honor in consecutive seasons. He has 3,575 passing yards, a number ranked eighth in school history. He actually threw for more passing yards and touchdowns (24) this season in Ruston than he did in the previous four years at Florida combined. Driskel ranks in the top 25 nationally in both passing touchdowns and passing efficiency (150.2) this season.
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