The Marshall football team’s struggles last season did not hurt the respect that tight end Ryan Yurachek has earned within Conference USA.
The senior was the Thundering Herd’s lone representative to the Preseason All-Conference USA team, released Monday afternoon.
The 6-foot-3, 232-pound Yurachek caught 28 passes for 298 yards and five touchdowns in 2016. That touchdown total tied with three others for the team lead last season. For his career, Yurachek has 864 yards and 16 touchdowns on 89 catches. He has a place on both the 2017 Mackey Award (for most outstanding collegiate tight end) and American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team watch lists.
The Herd suffered its first losing season since 2012 last year, going 3-9.
Two-time defending C-USA champion Western Kentucky led all teams in preseason all-conference selections with seven. Among them is Preseason C-USA Offensive Player of the Year Mike White, the Hilltoppers’ returning quarterback. Rice senior linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee was named Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and WKU senior kick returner Kylen Towner was named Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year.
Old Dominion and the University of Texas San Antonio each had four preseason All-C-USA selections and six schools had multiple players named.
The conference’s media poll, with its predicted order of finish, will be released Tuesday.