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All-NEIM Skill Players

EMU’s Ian Eriksen and Akron’s JoJo Natson are featured in this week’s list

NCAA Football: Eastern Michigan at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

First Team All-NEIM - Skill Position Players

RB Ian Eriksen - Eastern Michigan:
RB Papi White - Ohio
WR Cody Thompson - Toledo
WR Scott Miller - Bowling Green
WR JoJo Natson - Akron

In 2007, EMU defeated NIU, WMU and CMU which was good enough for a 3rd place MAC West finish and the Michigan MAC Trophy. EMU has not had a better MAC finish since.

That said, EMU was on track to finish at least third in the MAC West. Since 2009, the team with the two highest gaining running backs has finished no worse than 3rd in their division, and have finished first in 2012, 2014, & 2015 (Kent, BGSU, Toledo (T-1st)). Through two games, EMU’s third team All-NEIM RB Shaq Vann and first team All-NEIM RB Ian Eriksen are the top running duo in the conference.

Vann exploded in week 1 with 20 carries for 156 yards and 2 TDs, Eriksen added 12 carries for 97 yards and 2 more TDs. Unfortunately, Vann was injured against Mizzou, but Erikson put in a solid performance against the SEC opponent, with 90 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown.

Will Vann’s injury shut down the factory? Will Eriksen have enough to power the factory to a top MAC West finish? Time will tell. This week, EMU faces the 112th ranked run defense in Charlotte, giving Eriksen ample opportunity to stay at the top of the All-NEIM list.

Second Team All-NEIM - Skill Position Players

RB Jamauri Bogan - Western Michigan
RB James Gilbert - Ball State
WR Corey Davis - Western Michigan
WR James Gardner - Miami Ohio
WR Jon’Vea Johnson - Toledo

Bruce “JoJo” Natson cost himself his senior year at Utah State after at least three disciplinary strikes. After spurning Ohio University’s scholarship offer while playing at Boyd Anderson High School in Fort Lauderdale, Natson found himself in Ohio after all, but not in Athens, in Akron with Terry Bowden.

Although small in stature at 5’7 151, comparisons to Kent’s Dri Archer are easy to make. Not only are both small and fast, Natson is also a triple threat, running for 6 TDs, catching 5 TDs and scoring on 4 punt return TDs in his three years at Utah State.

In his first game as a Zip, Natson caught 4 balls for 90 yards and 3 TDs. Natson’s explosiveness was on display, and his awareness was on 99, as his seconded credited TD catch was actually a recovered fumble in the end zone. Along with 3rd team All-NEIMer Jerome Lane, Akron looks like it has the receiving talent to win a lot of games (and create a lot of MACtion) in 2016.

Third Team Offense - Skill Position Players

RB Shaq Vann - Eastern Michigan
RB Devon Spalding - Central Michigan
WR Michael Roberts - Toledo
WR Jerome Lane - Akron
WR Jordan Reid - Ohio