MEAC announces 2009 football honors

By MEAC Media Relations
Updated: November 26, 2009

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Florida A&M quarterback Curtis Pulley was selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Offensive Player of the Year and Morgan State’s George Howard earned the Defensive Player of the Year honor, as voted on by the MEAC head football coaches and sports information directors.

Mike Mayhew of North Carolina A&T earned the Rookie of the Year award and South Carolina State’s Johnny Culbreath was selected as the Offensive Lineman of the Year.

For the second straight year Coach of the Year honors went to South Carolina State head coach Buddy Pough. Pough led the Bulldogs to a 10-1 overall record and a perfect 8-0 mark in conference play for the second year in a row. The Bulldogs earned their second straight playoff berth and currently boast a record 19-straight conference victories.

Pulley led the MEAC in total offense with 2,705 yards and ranked third in rushing and passing. He completed 60-percent of his passes (137-of-226) with 1,824 yards and 12 touchdowns.

He led the Rattlers in rushing with 881 yards on 122 carries with six touchdowns. The Hopkinsville, Kentucky native earned five conference Offensive Player of the Week honors and is a finalist for the Walter Payton Award.

Howard becomes the second straight Bear’s player to earn the MEAC’s Defensive Player of the Year honor. Howard led the MEAC in tackles with 130 (11.8 avg/g) including 73 solo and 57 assisted.

He currently ranks fourth in the FCS in tackles per game. Howard recorded nine tackles for a loss of 40 yards, one pass break up, two quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles this season and earned the MEAC’s Defensive Player of the Week honor three times.

Mayhew emerged as a key offensive threat for the North Carolina A&T Aggies this year. In 10 games of play, Mayhew led the Aggies with 111 carries for 471 yards and six touchdowns.

He also caught 14 passes for 125 yards and was named the MEAC’s Rookie of the Week on Sept. 14.

Mayhew ranks sixth in the MEAC in rushing and kickoff returns (20.57 avg/g), and t-13th in scoring.

Culbreath aided a dominating Bulldog offense that accounted for 4,160 total yards including 1,745 yards on the ground. Behind Culbreath’s blocking the Bulldogs finished number one in the MEAC in pass offense, total offense, and scoring offense.

Culbreath’s efforts also aided running back Will Ford, who became the MEAC’s and Bulldog’s all-time leading rusher this season, and produced 1010 yards on the ground.

2009 award winners

Offensive Player of the Year: Curtis Pulley, Florida A&M Defensive Player of the Year: George Howard, Morgan State Rookie of the Year: Mike Mayhew, North Carolina A&T Offensive Lineman of the Year: Johnny Culbreath, S.C. State Coach of the Year: Buddy Pough, S.C. State