Golden Eagles picked fourth in OVC race, three named all-OVC

Tennessee Tech has been picked for a fourth place finish in the 2010 Ohio Valley Conference football race and three Golden Eagles have been named to the preseason all-OVC squad, all from the offense.

For the second-straight season five different schools received at least one first-place vote in the OVC preseason poll while Jacksonville State picked up the most first-place votes (11) and was tabbed the 2010 OVC preseason favorites in a vote of league head coaches and sports information directors.

Those 11 votes were out of 18 total votes, putting the Gamecocks (120 points) atop the preseason poll for the third time since joining the league in 2003. Eastern Illinois, last year’s champion, picked up four first-place votes (114 total points) and were just six total points behind Jax State. Eastern Kentucky (102 points), Tennessee Tech (78 points) and Tennessee State (70 points) received one first-place vote apiece and were picked third, fourth and fifth respectively. The preseason poll was rounded out by UT Martin (59), Austin Peay and Southeast Missouri tying for seventh (38) and Murray State (29).

Head coach Watson Brown has turned the Tennessee Tech program around in Cookeville, leading the Golden Eagles to a winning record (6-5) in his third season on the job in 2009, only the second winning season for the program in the last eight years. In building with a young squad, Tech’s players have grown in the program and gained valuable experience; this season six offensive and 10 defensive starters return along with 55 total letterwinners from the team that tied for second in the OVC. Three TTU players were named to the preseason All-OVC squad, including two offensive linemen in sophomore Slade Adams and junior Malcolm Jones. Joining those two players is junior wide receiver Tim Benford, who has caught at least one pass in every game of his successful career that included being named OVC Freshman of the Year two years ago.
 
2010 OVC Predicted Order of Finish
1. Jacksonville State (11 first-place votes)    120
2. Eastern Illinois (4)                                  114
3. Eastern Kentucky (1)                             102
4. Tennessee Tech (1)                                78
5. Tennessee State (1)                                70
6. UT Martin                                               59
7. Austin Peay                                           38
    Southeast Missouri                                38
9. Murray State                                          29

 
2010 Preseason All-OVC Team
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year:
Terrence Holt (RB/KR), Austin Peay
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Josh Bey (LB), UT Martin

OFFENSE
QB - Matt Scheible, Southeast Missouri
RB - Ryan White, Austin Peay
RB - Terrence Holt, Austin Peay
WR - Tim Benford, Tennessee Tech
WR - Marcus Harris, Murray State
TE - Cory Freeman, Jacksonville State
C - Willie Henderson, Eastern Illinois
G - Tylor Chambers, Jacksonville State
G - Slade Adams, Tennessee Tech
T - Curt Porter, Jacksonville State
T - Malcolm Jones, Tennessee Tech

DEFENSE
DL - Andrew Soucy, Eastern Kentucky
DL - Perry Burge, Eastern Illinois
DL - J.J. Sanchez, Southeast Missouri
DL - Donte’e Nicholls, Tennessee State
LB - Josh Bey, UT Martin
LB - Jordan Dalrymple, Eastern Kentucky
LB - Nick Nasti, Eastern Illinois
DB - Eugene Clifford, Tennessee State
DB - T.J. Heath, Jacksonville State
DB - CJ James, Eastern Illinois
DB - Jeremy Caldwell, Eastern Kentucky

SPECIALISTS
RS - Terrence Holt, Austin Peay
K - Kienan Cullen, Murray State
P - Kienan Cullen, Murray State