A pair of University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football players are garnering plenty of national attention heading into the 2012 season. Junior linebacker Wes Dothard and senior defensive lineman Josh Williams picked up another preseason All-American nod this week.
College Sporting News released its Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) teams that included the two Mocs. Dothard was a second team selection, while Williams made the third team. Both were already on the Sports Network's Preseason All-American teams and both are First Team Preseason All-Southern Conference picks. Dothard is also on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List for the top defensive player in the nation.
Dothard (6-1, 235), a native of Carrollton, Ga., is coming off a stellar sophomore campaign that included 98 tackles, five forced fumbles and two defensive scores. He was a First Team All-American and a First Team All-SoCon pick last season.
Williams (6-3, 235) is the Mocs' all-time leader in sacks with 21.5 in his three-year career. The Griffin, Ga., native led the SoCon in sacks last season (9.5) and earned first team honors from the league. He has started 31 of 33 games in his career.
Dothard and Williams are two of the eight starters returning to what should be one of the top defenses in the nation. UTC led the SoCon in total defense (305.3 yds/game), scoring defense (19.7 ppg), pass efficiency defense (100.15), pass defense (140.8 yds/game), turnover margin (+9), fumbles recovered (14), opponent third-down conversion (33%) and opponent fourth down conversion (38%) in 2011.
As a team, the Mocs are receiving votes in the College Sporting News Preseason FCS Top-25. They are the third team listed outside of the publication's top-25.
Chattanooga opens the season on Sept. 1 with a trip to South Florida. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) against the Bulls and the game will broadcast on ESPN3. The home opener is Thursday, Sept. 13, at 7:00 p.m. against Glenville State. Season tickets are on sale now by calling the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627) or on GoMocs.com.