Five members of the Murray State football team were honored by the Ohio Valley Conference Tuesday during the reveal of the league’s annual postseason awards. Levi Nesler, Eric Samuta, Taylor Shields and Cade Shupperd were all named to the All-OsVC second team, while Cody Goatley was named to the All-Newcomer team.
The award was the first of their careers for Shields and Shupperd, while it was the third All-OVC accolade for both Nesler and Samuta. The senior duo joins Eddie McFarland (1975-77), Ronnie Merritt (1995-97), DeAngelo Nelson (2007-09), Casey Brockman (2010-12) and Malik Honeycutt (2018, 2020-21) as the only Racers to ever be named All-OVC on three separate occasions.
Nesler anchored an offensive line that produced 303.7 total yards of offense per game this season. In addition, the Racer offensive line finished 38th nationally in sacks allowed per game at just 1.6.
Shields led the Murray State receiving corps this season with 42.2 yards per game for a total of 465 yards and five touchdowns. Nationally, Shields finished fifth amongst all FCS receivers in yards per reception with an impressive 21.1 yards per catch.
For the third consecutive season, Samuta led Murray State in tackles, this season with a total of 74, a team-high 48 of which were solo stops. In addition, the senior added a team-high five quarterback hurries, a forced fumble, a pass breakup, two tackles-for-loss and one sack.
Shupperd was a force to be reckoned with for the Racers this season, leading Murray State in tackles-for-loss (9) and sacks (5). He finished the season with 39 total tackles, two pass breakups and a quarterback hurry.
Goatley was a huge pickup for the Racers this season, after spending the previous two seasons at Kentucky. The Mayfield native finished second on the team in both total tackles (60) and tackles-for-loss (7.5). He also added one sack and a fumble recovery in his first season with Murray State.
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