Davis Tull is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in the SoCon.
Courtesy: GoMocs.com
Nine on All-SoCon Team, Mocs Picked 3rd in SoCon

SPARTANBURG, S.C.--- The Chattanooga Mocs football squad was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference in 2013 according to the league coaches today at SoCon Media Day. The league media outlets tabbed UTC fourth, while the preseason all-league squad, selected by the coaches, featured nine Mocs.

“It’s not where you are picked in July, but where you finish that matters,” Huesman said. “That said, it shows the respect we have earned around the league to be picked third. We look forward to getting started in a couple of weeks and compete week-in and week-out in one of the best leagues in the country.”

The program’s resurgence under Huesman is backed by history. The last time Chattanooga was voted as high as third in the preseason was in the 1991 media poll (3rd). You have to go back to 1990 for the coaches (3rd). The Mocs received a first-place vote in the 2011 coaches ranking which was a first since 1998. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team or players.

Georgia Southern was the consensus pick to win the league. The Eagles are followed by Appalachian State, Chattanooga and Samford on the coaches side and Wofford, App State and UTC by the media.

Coaches – Votes (1st Place)

Media – Votes (1st Place)

1) Georgia Southern – 57 (6)

1) Georgia Southern – 210 (15)

2) Appalachian State – 51 (2)

2) Wofford – 194 (4)

3) Chattanooga – 47 (1)

3) Appalachian State – 190 (6)

4) Samford – 43

4) Chattanooga – 176 (2)

5) Wofford – 40

5) Samford – 149

6) The Citadel – 33

6) The Citadel – 126

7) Furman – 25

7) Furman – 107 (1)

8) Elon – 16

8) Elon – 61

9) Western Carolina – 12

9) Western Carolina – 47

The Mocs received one of nine first-place votes in the coaches poll and two of 28 in the media. Six student-athletes earned first team recognition on the preseason all-conference team with three more projected on the second team.

With 10 starters returning on one the FCS’ stingiest defenses in 2012, it is not a surprise that Chattanooga is well represented in the preseason all-league team. Returning Defensive Player of the Year Davis Tull (Knoxville, Tenn.) headlines five from the Mocs defense on the preseason all-conference squad. Defensive tackle Derrick Lott (Kennesaw, Ga.), linebacker Wes Dothard (Carrollton, Ga.), safety D.J. Key (Centerville, Tenn.) and cornerback Kadeem Wise (Lawrenceville, Ga.) are joined by tight end Faysel Shafaat (Orlando, Fla.) on the first team.

“We have very high expectations on the defensive side of the ball,” Huesman added. “Five of our 10 returning starters made the all-league preseason team…that’s pretty good. There are not too many teams who have a guy like Tull coming off the edge. Dothard is a beast in the middle and D.J. is probably our best football player.”

The offense netted three on the second team. Sophomore quarterback Jacob Huesman (Chattanooga, Tenn.), quarterback/wide receiver Terrell Robinson (South Pittsburg, Tenn.) and senior guard Kevin Revis (Dayton, Tenn.) join Shafaat to lead a unit looking to emerge as one of the dynamic offensive units in the FCS.

“Offensively we have some work still to do, but we have some great pieces,” Huesman continued. “Jacob and Terrell are exciting players, and we need to get the ball in their hands as much as possible because they make great things happen.”

UTC returns 10 starters on defense. Along with Tull, Lott, Dothard, Key and Wise, the defense welcomes back defensive lineman Toyvian Brand (Greensboro, Ala.), linebacker Gunner Miller (Chattanooga, Tenn.), safety Zach McCarter (Hixson, Tenn.) and cornerback Chaz Moore (Memphis, Tenn.).

The offense also boasts 10 returning starters. Huesman, Robinson, Shafaat and Revis lined up next to fullback Taharin Tyson (Alcoa, Tenn.), wide receivers Marlon Anthony (Acworth, Ga.) and Tommy Hudson (Moultrie, Ga.) as well as offensive linemen Patrick Sutton (Sevierville, Tenn.), Hunter Dockery (Newport, Tenn.) and Synjen Herren (Dalton, Ga.). Place kicker/punter Nick Pollard (Nashville, Tenn.) is also back as a starter.

The Eagles and Mountaineers are transitioning to FBS status and are ineligible for the FCS Playoffs and SoCon title. The 2013 campaign starts Thursday, August 29, in Chattanooga for the SoCon with the Mocs hosting UT Martin, while Western Carolina travels to Middle Tennessee.

Davis Tull
On being named preseason co-Defensive Player of the Year:
“It is a great honor.  The All-American stuff is great, but to be recognized by the people who watch you each and every week, is a great compliment.  I am excited about it.”

On being picked third:
“It shows the improvement in the program.  It shows where we are headed, hopefully we can live up to it and exceed it.”

Wes Dothard
On being named preseason All-SoCon:
“It feels good to be recognized.  It shows that I am doing something right and the people voting think I am doing something right.  

Getting five guys on the first team defense:
“That is pretty good.  I doubt we have had that many in a while.  They are all great players and all deserving of the honor, even the guys who made the second team.  

On being picked third:
“We still have a lot of work left to do.  We need to focus on winning a SoCon Championship and getting to the playoffs.”

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