Special to The Sun
Central Oklahoma running back Joshua Birmingham earned first-team honors and defensive lineman Herbert Byrd was a second-team pick on the All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Football Team that was released Tuesday.
The Bronchos also had six players named honorable mention All-MIAA — wide receiver Christian Hood, defensive linemen Sam Moses and Tyler Newton, quarterback Adrian Nelson, offensive lineman Cameron Pound and linebacker Adrian Shoecraft.
UCO finished 2-8 on the year and in the league in its first-ever season in the MIAA, regarded as the premier football conference in NCAA Division II.
A 5-9, 195-pound junior from Luther, Birmingham enjoyed a stellar season in becoming UCO’s initial first-team All-MIAA selection. He rushed for 1,093 yards and 13 touchdowns on 188 carries while adding 424 yards and a TD on just 15 kickoff returns and catching 27 passes for 271 yards and a score.
Birmingham’s 1,778 all-purpose yards ranks as the second-best season in school history and he became UCO’s all-time leader in that category with 4,639 yards. Birmingham will enter his senior season ranked second in career scoring with 264 points (36 from the record) and fourth in career rushing with 3,215 yards (1,145 yards from the record).
Byrd, a 6-4, 275-pound senior from Okmulgee, came back after missing most of last year to injury and put together a strong season on the defensive line.
He finished with 43 tackles while leading the team and ranking among the league leaders in both tackles for loss (12.0) and sacks (6.0). Byrd also blocked three kicks this season, batting down two field goals and an extra point.
Hood led UCO in both receptions (47) and yards (573), averaging 12.2 yards a catch. Moses ended his senior season with 42 tackles, while Newton also had 42 stops with 5.0 for loss.
Nelson had the 10th-best passing season in school history, finishing with 1,777 yards after hitting 156-of-306 passes while also rushing for 244 yards. Pound was UCO’s most consistent lineman all season in his return to the field after sitting out last year following his transfer from Sam Houston State.
Shoecraft was UCO’s second-leading tackler despite missing the final two games to injury, finishing with 54 tackles.