From Southeast Missouri State University
Southeast Missouri was picked fourth in the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference Preseason Poll, the league announced at its annual media day Monday.
The defending OVC Champion Redhawks received their highest preseason ranking since 2004. Southeast tallied one first-place nod and 81 points in the overall voting by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors.
Southeast went 9-3 overall and 7-1 in league play en route to its first-ever OVC title and NCAA Playoff appearance in 2010. The Redhawks ranked 13th in the final Football Championship Subdivision Sports Network and Coaches Polls.
Jacksonville State is this year's favorite after garnering 13 first-place votes and 123 points. The Gamecocks also posted a 9-3 mark and secured a berth in the NCAA Playoffs in 2010.
Murray State (106 pts.) and Eastern Kentucky (93 pts.) were second and third, respectively, while Tennessee Tech (73 pts.), UT Martin (64 pts.), Eastern Illinois (57 pts.), Tennessee State (33 pts.) and Austin Peay (18 pts.) completed the balloting.
Quarterback Matt Scheible, offensive tackle Evan Conrad and defensive back Tylor Brock took Preseason All-Conference honors for the Redhawks.
Scheible became the first Southeast quarterback to earn First-Team All-OVC accolades last season. He completed 109-of-182 passes for 1,246 yards and eight touchdowns, and finished second on the team in rushing with 887 yards and seven touchdowns on 169 carries. Scheible has made 24-consecutive starts under center and currently ranks among the school's single-season and career leaders in several categories.
Conrad was part of an offensive line which produced four First-Team All-OVC selections a year ago. He was rated among the Sports Network's FCS Preseason Top-10 offensive linemen this preseason after giving up only two sacks in 12 starts at left tackle.
Like Scheible and Conrad, Brock was also a First-Team All-OVC pick in 2010. He led the conference and tied for 16th in the nation with six interceptions.
In addition, both Conrad and Brock were named to the 2011 Sports Network/Fathead.com Preseason All-America Team.
Murray State quarterback Casey Brockman was projected as the league's Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Jacksonville State defensive lineman Monte Lewis and Tennessee State linebacker Rico Council shared Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Southeast opens its 2011 season at home vs. Southern Illinois on Sept. 3.
Predicted Order of Finish
1. Jacksonville State (13) – 123
2. Murray State (4) – 106
3. Eastern Kentucky – 93
4. Southeast Missouri (1) – 81
5. Tennessee Tech – 73
6. UT Martin – 64
7. Eastern Illinois – 57
8. Tennessee State – 33
9. Austin Peay – 18
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Casey Brockman, Murray State
Co-Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Monte Lewis, Jacksonville State
Co-Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Rico Council, Tennessee State
2011 Preseason All-OVC Football Team
QB – Matt Scheible, Southeast Missouri
QB – Casey Brockman, Murray State
RB – Mike Harris, Murray State
RB – Ryan White, Austin Peay
RB – Dante' Thomas, Tennessee State
WR – Tim Bedford, Tennessee Tech
WR – Orlandus Harris, Eastern Kentucky
TE – Kenny Jones, UT Martin
C – Tim Schmid, Austin Peay
OG – Eric Zink, Eastern Illinois
OG – Kadeem Edwards, Tennessee State
OG – Scott Schweitzer, Tennessee Tech
OT – Evan Conrad, Southeast Missouri
OT – Odie Rush, Jacksonville State
DL – Monte Lewis, Jacksonville State
DL – Emory Attig, Eastern Kentucky
DL – Jamison Wadley, Jacksonville State
DL – Artavious Dowdell, Eastern Illinois
DL – Anthony Brown, Eastern Kentucky
LB – Rico Council, Tennessee State
LB – Tyson Patrick, Eastern Kentucky
LB – Rodney Garrott, Jacksonville State
DB – Jeremy Caldwell, Eastern Kentucky
DB – Keginald Harris, Jacksonville State
DB – Tylor Brock, Southeast Missouri
DB – Patrick McClellan, Eastern Kentucky
DB – Dontrell Johnson, Murray State
DB – Kendal Harper, UT Martin
K – Kienan Cullen, Murray State
P – Jordan Berry, Eastern Kentucky
RS – Dontrell Johnson, Murray State