HUNTINGTON — Marshall may not have won a Conference USA championship in 2019, but Tuesday’s announcement of all-conference awards showed how respected the team was within the league.
Marshall led Conference USA with eight first-team selections on the list, which was three selections better than C-USA champion Florida Atlantic, which the Thundering Herd defeated in October.
Those selections came in all three phases of the game: two on offense, three on defense and three on special teams.
Marshall’s offensive selections were a pair of players who served as the offensive captains for the Herd for a majority of the season.
Sophomore running back Brenden Knox continued a strong start to his career, rushing for 1,284 yards and 11 touchdowns. One of the players who paved the way for Knox was senior offensive lineman Levi Brown, who joined Knox as a first-team selection.
It marked the fourth straight year that Brown was honored by the league: all-freshman in 2016, second team in 2017 and first team in 2018 and 2019.
On the defensive side, Marshall had a first-team selection at each level of the defense.
Senior defensive tackle Channing Hames earned one of the defensive spots after amassing 34 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks while proving disruptive on the interior.
Junior linebacker Tavante Beckett enjoyed his first season on the field for the Herd, leading Conference USA with 114 tackles, which is tied for 15th nationally.
In the secondary, senior Chris Jackson earned the nod after placing third in the league with 12 passes defended.
Marshall’s three special teams selections continued a level of success in the game’s third phase that is expected from head coach Doc Holliday.
Kicker Justin Rohrwasser earned the first-team nod after going 17 of 20 on the season and earning the designation of a Lou Groza semifinalist. Rohrwasser won the C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week award following the game against Western Kentucky in which he went 4 of 4 on field goal opportunities, including a 53-yard game-winner in a 26-23 victory.
Senior long snapper Matthew Beardall also was named first team at his position for the second straight year and joined Brown as four-year representatives for the Herd in postseason awards.
Beardall was all-freshman in 2016, honorable mention in 2017 and first team in 2018 and 2019.
Marshall freshman punt returner Talik Keaton was also named as a first-team selection after leading the league with a 12.0-yard return average, which included one touchdown in the season-opening win over VMI.
The Herd also had three players named to the Conference USA second team: offensive lineman Cain Madden, tight end Armani Levias and linebacker Omari Cobb.
Levias led Marshall in receiving with 43 catches for 486 yards and three touchdowns. Cobb was second on the team behind Beckett and third in Conference USA with 107 tackles.
Marshall’s honorable mention selections included defensive end Darius Hodge and defensive back Nazeeh Johnson.
The league also released its all-freshman team, which also had a pair of Marshall representatives: Keaton at punt returner and defensive back Micah Abraham, who had 33 tackles and three pass breakups.