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December 4, 2013

Five Flashes named to All-MAC team

CLEVELAND - Kent State senior defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) became the first player in program history and fifth player in Mid-American Conference history to earn first team all-conference honors in four consecutive seasons. Seniors Darius Polk (Lynchburg, Va.), Dri Archer (Laurel, Fla.) and Luke Wollet (Poland, Ohio) along with sophomore Anthony Melchiori (Aurora, Ohio) were also named to the All-MAC Team Wednesday as announced by the conference office.

Nix led the Golden Flashes in tackles for loss (13.0), sacks (3.5) and quarterback hurries (6), despite playing through injuries during much of the season. He also forced two fumbles, made 41 tackles, broke up five passes and blocked a kick. Nix (2010-13) joins defensive back Davonte Shannon, Buffalo (2007-10), defensive back Barry Church, Toledo (2006-09), punter Dave Zastudil, Ohio (1998-2001) and quarterback Brian McClure, Bowling Green (1982-85) on the prestigious list of four-year, first team honorees.

"Rosie didn't play a lot of snaps in a lot of our games, but when he was in there, he was very effective," Head Coach Paul Haynes said. "And to get voted first team, this shows you the respect he gets around the league."

Archer also joined elite company, earning all-conference honors at two different positions for the second straight season. Earning third team honors this season at both wide receiver and kick returner, he owns the rare distinction of claiming All-MAC accolades at three different positions. In 2012, Archer was a first team member at both kick returner and running back. Despite missing the better part of four games this season, he led the Flashes with 11 total touchdowns and 982 all-purpose yards.

"Dri can do a lot of different things," Haynes said. "And it's going to be fun to watch him in the future wherever he ends up. Everyone knew he had a chance to go the distance every time he touched the ball and he's done it at three different positions."

Wollet, a third team choice at defensive back this season, becomes just Kent State's third three-time All-MAC selection since 1999 (Nix, Lainhart). Wollet led the Flashes with 78 tackles this season, adding two interceptions and five pass breakups.

"Luke's one of those throwback, grind-it-out type players," Haynes said. "He got hurt in the LSU game and played though it all year. He never missed a game and never missed a practice."

Polk claimed All-MAC Second Team honors at defensive back. The team's top cover corner, Polk was matched up against outstanding receivers throughout the year, including three of the 10 Biletnikoff Award semifinalists. He led the Flashes with seven pass breakups and was fourth on the team with 60 tackles.

Melchiori earned second team honors as a punter, despite punting in just the first six games. After his injury in Week 7 at Ball State, Kent State ranked third in the nation in net punting at 42.5 yards per game. Opponents had just 13 yards in punt returns, while Melchiori had 14 boots inside the 20.

The 2013 season marks the fourth consecutive year the Golden Flashes had at least five players selected to the All-MAC team by conference coaches.

Kent State closed out a season with back-to-back victories for the first time since 2004 with a 24-6 win over Miami and a 44-13 triumph at Ohio.


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