Bridgeport, W.Va. - Quarterback D.J. Mendenhall of Urbana has been named Mountain East Conference Offensive Player of the Year, defensive lineman Robert Hayes of Shepherd the Defensive Player of the Year and Shepherd head coach Monte Cater the Coach of the Year. In addition, running back Jabre Lolley of Shepherd has been named the Mountain East Conference Offensive Freshman of the Year, and Shepherd linebacker Octavius Thomas the Defensive Freshman of the Year.
Mendenhall, a senior from West Jefferson, Ohio, threw for a school-record 3,268 yards and 32 touchdowns in 2013. The Harlon Hill candidate led the Blue Knights to a third-place finish in the MEC, and finished his stellar career with 9,970 passing yards, 1,702 rushing yards and 132 touchdowns responsible for.
Hayes, a senior from Sterling, Va., led a dominant Shepherd defense in 2013. He finished the year with 10 tackles for a loss and nine sacks. Hayes anchored a defense that was first in the country in rushing defense (45 ypg) and second in the NCAA in total defense (248 ypg).
Cater directed Shepherd to its fourth undefeated regular season in school history with a 10-0 record and the Mountain East Conference title. The Rams earned a No. 1 seed and a bye in the upcoming NCAA Playoffs.
Lolley, a redshirt freshman from Wilmington, Del., led the MEC in rushing touchdowns with 14. He also averaged 4.6 yards per carry and finished the regular season with 767 yards on the ground.
Thomas, a freshman from Myrtle Beach, S.C., led Shepherd in total tackles with 53 stops on the year. He also recorded 6.5 tackles for a loss and a sack for the Rams.
In addition to the individual awards, the Mountain East Conference announced its 2013 All-Mountain East Conference teams. The teams were selected by the league’s coaches. Shepherd led the way with 11 first-team picks, Charleston was next with five first-team selections, while Concord, Notre Dame and Glenville State all had four.