|LeBrandon Richardson (photo from Bethune Cookman Athletics site)|
Even though they've lost eight starters -- the entire linebacking core and three of four defensive backs -- they are still the sexy pick to win the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title again this year, according to the league's head coaches and sports information directors.
The Wildcats, already ranked 23rd in the nation in the FCS 2014 preseason poll, will rely on a bevy of reserves and transfers to step in where the leading tackler for the past three seasons, the departed Jarkevis Fields, thrived.
"We have a lot of bodies and a lot of talent," linebacker Ralph Williams, a key reserve last year who takes over at middle linebacker, told the Daytona Beach Journal on Aug. 1. "We just have to come out here every day and get better. We have a lot of new starters, but [defensive coordinator Yogi Jones] always tells us everybody's a starter on the defense if you play."
Williams will have preseason All-MEAC defenders DL LeBrandon Richardson, LB Tavarus Dantzler and DB Marquis Drayton anchoring things.
South Carolina State has six defenders on the preseason All-MEAC team, led by defensive lineman Alex Glover and Andrew Carter. The two anchored a Bulldog defense that gave up only 90 yards rushing per game in 2013.
|Greg McGhee (photo from AtlantaBlackStar.com)|
Here is the MEAC's predicted order of finish:
First Place Votes in Parenthesis)
1. Bethune-Cookman 487
2. South Carolina State 457
3. North Carolina A&T 338
4. Howard 309
5. Delaware State 229
6. Norfolk State 225
7. Hampton 200
8. North Carolina Central 187
9. Morgan State 148
** Florida A&M and Savannah State are not eligible for post season competition therefore is not listed on the above prediction order
Offensive Player of the Year: Greg McGhee, Howard Defensive Player of the Year: Lynden Trail, Norfolk State