SoCon Preseason All-Conference Team

 Wofford FB Eric Breitenstein

Staff Report

College Sports Journal


SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford senior running back Eric Breitenstein has been named the Southern Conference Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Georgia Southern senior defensive lineman Brent Russell has been named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in voting conducted by the league's head coaches.  Breitenstein and Russell were named Players of the Year following the 2011 season and also garnered the same preseason honors one year ago.

The league's head coaches also selected an all-conference first and second team in conjunction with the league's media day on Thursday (July 26).  Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes as part of the balloting.

Appalachian State led all schools with 10 all-conference honorees.  The Mountaineers had three student-athletes earn first-team recognition, while seven players were named to the second team.  Samford and Chattanooga each had eight players earn preseason all-conference honors.

Furman led all SoCon programs with five players selected to the first team, while seven schools placed at least three student-athletes on the first team.

A 2012 Preseason Buck Buchanan Watch List honoree, Russell was named the league's top defender last fall. As a junior he finished the season with 67 tackles, including 16 for loss.  A disruptive force on the defensive line, Russell tallied 6.5 sacks, two quarterback hurries, two PBUs and a blocked kick in 2011.

Breitenstein led the SoCon and ranked 10th nationally with 122.8 rushing yards per game, marking the second consecutive year he led the league in rushing.  He finished the 2011 season with 1,474 yards, 19 touchdowns and rushed for at least 100 yards in 10 games, including a season-high 217 yards against Elon.  Breitenstein enters 2012 needing just 368 yards to break into the top 10 of the league's all-time rushing list.

The 2012 Southern Conference football season begins Thursday, August 30 when Western Carolina hosts Mars Hill.  The league's eight other teams hit the field Saturday, September 1, including a conference game between Furman and Samford.

2012 Southern Conference Football

Preseason All-Conference Teams
Offensive Player of the Year: Eric Breitenstein, Sr., RB, Wofford
Defensive Player of the Year: Brent Russell, Sr., DL, Georgia Southern

First Team Offense
QB         Jamal Jackson, Jr., Appalachian State
RB         Jerodis Williams, Sr., Furman
RB         Eric Breitenstein, Sr., Wofford
OL         Mike Sellers, Jr., The Citadel
OL         Dakota Dozier, Jr., Furman
OL         Dorian Byrd, Jr., Georgia Southern
OL         Ryan Dudchock, Sr., Samford
OL         Jake Miles, Sr. Wofford
TE          Colin Anderson, Sr., Furman
WR        Aaron Mellette, Sr., Elon
WR        Kelsey Pope, Jr., Samford

First Team Defense
DL         Chris Billingslea, Sr., The Citadel
DL         Josh Lynn, Sr., Furman
DL         Brent Russell, Sr., Georgia Southern
DL         Josh Williams, Sr., Chattanooga
LB          Jeremy Kimbrough, Sr., Appalachian State
LB          Wes Dothard, Jr., Chattanooga
LB          Alvin Scioneaux, Jr., Wofford
DB         Demetrius McCray, Sr., Appalachian State
DB         Greg Worthy, Jr., Furman
DB         Deion Stanley, So., Georgia Southern
DB         D.J. Key, Jr., Chattanooga

First Team Specialists
PK         Cameron Yaw, Sr., Samford
P           Cass Couey, Sr., The Citadel
RS         Fabian Truss, Jr., Samford

Second Team Offense
QB         Thomas Wilson, Sr., Elon
RB         Darien Robinson, Jr., The Citadel
RB         Fabien Truss, Jr., Samford
OL         Kendall Lamm, So., Appalachian State
OL         Blake DeBartola, Sr., Georgia Southern
OL         Charlie Sanford, Sr., Samford
OL         Adam Miller, Sr., Chattanooga
OL         Jared Singleton, Jr., Wofford
OL         (tie) Calvin Cantrell, Sr., Wofford
TE          Faysal Shafaat, So., Chattanooga
WR        Andrew Peacock, Jr., Appalachian State
WR        Tony Washington, Jr., Appalachian State

Second Team Defense
DL         Ronald Blair, So., Appalachian State
DL         Derek Douglas, Jr., The Citadel
DL         Tony Thompson, Jr., Elon
DL         Nick Williams, Sr., Samford
DL         (tie) Davis Tull, So., Chattanooga
LB          Brandon Grier, Sr., Appalachian State
LB          Mitch McGrath, Sr., Furman
LB          Darius Eubanks, Sr., Georgia Southern
LB          (tie) Rock Williams, Sr., Western Carolina
DB         Troy Sanders, Sr., Appalachian State
DB         Alvin Hines II, Sr., Samford
DB         Kadeem Wise, Jr., Chattanooga
DB         Nathan Wade, Sr., Furman

Second Team Specialists
PK         Nick Pollard, So., Chattanooga
P           Sam Martin, Sr., Appalachian State
RS         Darreion Robinson, Sr., Georgia Southern

NOTE: Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.