BUFFALO, NY – Six University at Buffalo football players were named to the Phil Steele 2012 Preseason All-MAC Team on Thursday. Branden Oliver and Khalil Mack were named to the first team; Alex Neutz and Najja Johnson were named to the second team; and Graham Whinery and Lee Skinner were named to the third team.
Oliver and Mack, both entering their junior seasons, were named to the All-MAC First Team following last season. Oliver set the single-season rushing record with 1,395 yards and added 13 touchdowns. A menacing linebacker, Mack had 20.5 tackles for loss to rank third in the nation. In February, both players were honored by the Touchdown Club of Columbus as players to watch in 2012.
Neutz was having a breakout season a year ago before a wrist injury sidelined him for the final three games of the year. He still led the team with 641 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 43 receptions.
In his first season as a starting cornerback, Johnson led the MAC with 15 pass breakups in 2011. He also tied a school record with 16 passes defended on the season.
Whinery, an offensive guard, was a key to the success of Oliver's record-breaking 2011 campaign. He will enter his senior season as an anchor of the Bulls' offensive line.
Skinner stepped up and earned a starting role at inside linebacker as a redshirt freshman last season. He ranked second on the team in tackles with 80. Phil Steele honored Skinner at the end of 2011 by naming him to its National All-Freshman Team.
Five of the six Bulls honored are underclassmen, with Whinery being the lone senior.