Cohen Earns Top Offensive Award

In a season where five teams, including North Carolina A&T State University, shared the MEAC football title, it is only fitting that the conference’s top offensive award was also shared. N.C. A&T sophomore running back Tarik Cohen (5-6, 172, Bunn, N.C.) was named co-offensive player of the year by the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference on Saturday. He will share the award with preseason offensive player of the year Greg McGhee from Howard University.

S.C. State University defensive lineman Javon Hargrave earned defensive player of the year, Morgan State University’s Darren Pinnock earned offensive lineman of the year and the rookie award went to S.C. State linebacker Darius Leonard. Morgan State’s first-year head coach Lee Hull was named coach of the year.

All-conference teams were also released. Seven Aggies, including Cohen, earned first-team honors. The Aggies other first-team All-MEAC selections are starting cornerbacks Donald Mattocks (R-Sr., 5-8, 178, Burlington, N.C.) and Tony McRae (Jr., 5-9, 175, Laurinburg, N.C.), left guard William Ray Robinson III (R-Sr., 6-3, 307, Clinton, Md.), center Ronald Canty (R-Sr., 6-0, 277, Chester, S.C.), linebacker D’Vonte Grant (R-Sr., 5-10, 195, Charlotte, N.C.) and placekicker Cody Jones (So., 5-11, 136, Gastonia, N.C.).

McRae was a second-team selection as a return specialist, and was joined by nose guard Marquis Ragland (So., 6-3, 265, Fayetteville, N.C.). Wide receiver Desmond Lawrence (Sr., 5-10, 181, Durham, N.C.), quarterback Kwashaun Quick (Jr., 6-0, 188, Laurinburg, N.C.) and left tackle Brandon Parker (R-Fr., 6-7, 280, Kannapolis, N.C.) were third-team selections.

“He is without a doubt one of the best running backs in the nation,” said head coach Rod Broadway about Cohen. “He is one of those special players who you get to coach maybe once in a lifetime. He’s special. He’s a warrior, and he gives us an opportunity to win every ballgame. He is going to always hang in there and give you a chance to win.”

Cohen is the second Aggie to win co-offensive player of the year during Broadway’s four-year tenure. Running back Mike Mayhew earned co-honors in 2011. Cohen rushed for 1,340 yards and 15 touchdowns on 197 carries. It was the second-highest single-season rushing performance in Aggies history. Cohen also caught 25 receptions for 237 yards and a touchdown. He had seven 100-yard games and two 200-yard games during the course of the season.

Cohen currently leads the conference in rushing (Morgan State’s Herb Walker, Jr., is still playing games), scoring (8.7 ppg), touchdowns scored and is second in all-purpose yards (143.4 ypg). Nationally, Cohen is second in the nation in yards per carry (6.8), 10th in rushing yards per game (121.8), 13th in rushing TDs and 18th in all-purpose yards.

A big part of Cohen’s success was his offensive line. Robinson and Canty, both of whom were starters when Mayhew won his offensive award, have been a major part of the Aggies rushing efforts for a long time.