Oklahoma Baptist's Haire tabbed GAC Offensive Player of the Year

Oklahoma Baptist Athletics
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
Oklahoma Baptist quarterback Preston Haire was named GAC Offensive Player of the Year on Tuesday.

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Preston Haire has been tabbed the Great American Conference Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, leading a group of nine other Oklahoma Baptist All-GAC selections.

Five Bison earned All-GAC first-team honors, the most since joining the league. These selections included the senior quarterback Haire junior receiver Josh Cornell, sophomore receiver Keilahn Harris, senior running back Tyler Stuever and senior offensive lineman Jake Foshee.

Redshirt senior linebacker Josh Arnold and sophomore outside linebacker Nick Boone were named to the second team. Senior offensive lineman JT Vongor, junior defensive lineman Robert Lolofie and freshman cornerback Matthew Norman took All-GAC honorable mention recognitions.

Haire, a redshirt senior, collects his second career first-team selection after turning in one of the most efficient seasons of his career. The signal-caller threw for 3,166 yards, 39 touchdowns and totaled 3,584 offensive yards. Haire accomplished these numbers by completing 66.9% of his passes, which ranks fourth all-time in GAC history and is an OBU record. He broke three of his single-season school records, including pitching six touchdowns in a single game, which he did three times this year.

Haire also managed to eclipse a few of the league's best on the all-time GAC charts this season. He moved into third for career offensive yards (13,102), passing yards (11,621), passing touchdowns (113) and 300-yard passing games (13). After racking up 289 completions in 2021, Haire is also second all-time in career passing completions (1,033).

The Trophy Club, Texas native led the GAC in passing completions, passing touchdowns and total offensive touchdowns. He ranked second in all but two other passing categories while only throwing eight interceptions. Haire was named GAC Player of the Week twice this season for his performances against Arkansas-Monticello and Northwestern Oklahoma State.

Receivers Cornell and Harris solidified themselves as the best receiving duo in the nation this season, combining for 31 touchdowns. Both eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark, as Cornell charted his second in a row. Harris led the two as he broke three school records for receiving yards (1,067), touchdowns (16) and receptions (87). Cornell wasn't far behind with 1,018 yards, 15 touchdowns and 76 receptions.

Nationwide, they ranked within the top-eight in receptions and top-six for touchdowns.

This is Cornell's second time to be named to the first-team in his career and Harris' first. Each were also named GAC Player of the Week once this season.

Offensive lineman Foshee and Vongor were anchors on an offensive line that allowed the league's third-least number of sacks (10) in 2021. The offense ranked second in the nation for first downs (287), an OBU single-season record, and led the GAC with 39 touchdowns. This is the second All-GAC selection for each.

Stuever rounds up the offensive group with the second All-GAC selection of his career. Stuever became the second Bison to rush for 1,000 yards as he racked up 1,097 yards and nine touchdowns. He ranked fourth in the GAC for total rushing yards and rushing yards per game.

Linebackers Arnold and Boone led the Bison's defensive selections as they finished ranked one and three for total tackles in the GAC, respectively. Arnold finished with a league-best 99 tackles and 17 TFLs. He ranked fourth in the league in sacks (6.5) and became the all-time leading OBU tackler with 387 in his career.

Arnold earns the second All-GAC selection of his career after being named to the All-GAC honorable mention team in 2017. He also moved into third place on the all-time conference charts for total tackles (387) and assisted tackles (173). This season, Arnold earned GAC Player of the Week honors after recording 16 tackles and 7.0 tackles for loss against Southwestern Oklahoma State. This is Boone's first career recognition, after totaling 87 tackles, 12.5 TFLs and 4.5 sacks.

For leading the conference in sacks (9.0), Lolofie earns his second All-GAC recognition of his career. This is the most sacks recorded by an OBU player since joining the 2015 season. Lolofie totaled 39 tackles and 11.5 TFLs in his junior campaign. Norman concludes OBU's honorees as he was a menace of special teams. Norman had a significant impact on the Bison's special team's success, totaling 30 tackles and one TFL.