Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bethune-Cookman and South Carolina State Picked to Finish 1-2 in the MEAC

LeBrandon Richardson (photo from Bethune Cookman Athletics site)
It's rather fitting that Bethune-Cookman's football squad has a first team preseason All-MEAC representative on each level of the defense.  They were more than stout as they sported the nation's second ranked defense in 2013 (fellow MEAC member South Carolina State had the nation's best defense, statistically).

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
North Carolina A&T was also tough defensively, with the nation's top rushing defense.  They are picked to finish third behind South Carolina State in the MEAC.  Next is Howard, a team that will have head coach Gary "Flea" Harrell back after a one-year sabbatical, has the preseason MEAC Offensive Player of the Year in Greg McGhee, last year's MEAC total offense leader who was second in passing and third in rushing.

Here is the MEAC's predicted order of finish:

First Place Votes in Parenthesis)
School                                                                         Points
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

Here is the complete All-MEAC team:

Offensive Player of the Year: Greg McGhee, Howard           Defensive Player of the Year: Lynden Trail, Norfolk State

QBGreg McGheeSr.HowardPittsburgh, Pa.
RBTarik CohenSo.N.C. A&TBunn, N.C.
RBAnthony PhilyawSo.HowardLos Angeles, Ca.
WRMilton Williams IIISr.Delaware StateWashington, D.C.
WRDesmond LawrenceSr.N.C. A&TDurham, N.C.
TEKris DrummondSr.Savannah  StateWashington D.C.
CAndrew EdouardSr.Bethune-CookmanPhiladelphia, Pa.
OLDomanic Wilsonr-Sr.S.C. StateLake City, S.C.
OLWillie Robinsonr-Sr.N.C A&TClinton. Md.
OLDarren PinnockSr.Morgan StateMiami, Fla
OL            Devin Flowersr-Sr.S.C. StateCharlotte, N.C.
OL            Toree BoydSo.HowardMiami, Fla.
DLLeBrandon RichardsonJr.Bethune-CookmanMiami, Fla.
DLMiles GroomsJr.HamptonRichmond, Va
DLAlex GloverJr.S.C. StateCharlotte, N.C.
DLAndrew CarterSr.S.C. StateHamlet, N.C.
LBLynden Trailr-Sr.Norfolk StateMiami, Fla.
LBD’Vonte GrantGrad.North Carolina A&TCharlotte, N.C.
LBTavarus DantzlerSr.Bethune-CookmanHomestead, Fla.
DBDarrin Marrowr-Sr.Norfolk StateVirginia Beach, Va.
DBCameron Alstonr-Sr.HowardNorth Augusta, S.C.
DBMike JonesSo.N.C. CentralBaltimore,Md.
DBMarquis DraytonJr.Bethune-CookmanFort Lauderdale, Fla.
PLawrence Forbesr-So.Morgan StateUpper Marlboro, Md.
PKAnthony Prevostr-So.HamptonChesterfield, Va.
RSAdrian Wilkinsr-Jr.N.C. CentralForest City, N.C.
Second Team    
QBQuentin Williamsr-Sr.Bethune-CookmanTampa, Fla.
RBLamont Brown IIIr-So.Morgan StateSuffolk, Va.
RBJustin Taylorr- Jr.S.C. StateAtlanta, Ga.
WRJoseph Cervalor-Sr.Delaware StateVenice
WRThomas Martinr-So.Morgan StateNaples, Fla.
TE*James Lynchr-Jr.Norfolk StateDarby, Pa.
TE*Temarrick Hemingwayr-Jr.S.C. StateLoris, SC
CRonald Cantyr-Sr.N.C. A&TChester, S.C.
OLJohn Smithr-Jr.HowardAtlanta. Ga.
OLJerron SearlesJr.Delaware StateAtlantic City, N.J.
OLKeonte CashSo.Florida A&MMiami, Fla.
OLJustin Mylerr-Sr.Norfolk StateWoodbridge, Va.
OL Chris PressleySr. N.C. CentralUpper Marlboro, Md.

DLRodney GunterSr.Delaware StateLake Hamilton, Fla.
DLDamon Gresham-ChisolmJr.HowardCovington, GA
DLRonnie BarrowSr.Bethune-Cookman 
Demarco Bisbee
Javon Hargrave
Morgan State
S.C. State
Lansing, Mich.
Salisbury, NC
LBJoshua ThorneJr.HamptonOxon Hill, Md. 
LBCody AckerSr.Morgan StateLandover, Md.
LBMarquis SmithSo.Savannah StatePrince Georges County, Md. 
DBKhambrel McGeeSr.HamptonMiami, Fla.
DBDevonte JohnsonSr.Florida A&MTallahassee, Fla.
DBTony McRaeJr.N.C. A&TLaurinburg, N.C.
DB*Patrick Aikenr-So.Florida A&MPembroke Pines, Fla.
DB*Keenan Lambertr-Sr.Norfolk StateNorfolk, Va.
PChristian Faber-Kinneyr-So.HamptonWilliamsburg, Va.
PKChase VarnadoreSr.Florida A&MTallahassee, Fla.
RSTony McRaeJr.N.C. A&TLaurinburg, N.C.
Third Team    
QBDamien FlemingSr.Florida A&MJacksonville, Fla.
RBJorrian Washingtonr-Sr.HamptonLos Angeles, Ca.
RBDae-Hon CheungSr.Delaware StateCoatesville, Pa.
WRDennisRower-Sr.S.C. StateColumbia, S.C.
WRJhomo GordonSr.Bethune-CookmanPalm Bay, Fla.
Nathan Scruggs
Nate Ingram
N.C. Central
Jacksonville, Fla.
Sicklerville, N.J.
CErick Dickersonr-So.S.C. StateGoose Creek, SC
OLMike PhillipsJr.Norfolk StateVirginia Beach, Va.
OLClevonne DavisJr.N.C. Central Miramar, FL
OLAfolabi AyangbayiSo.Savannah StateUnion, NJ
OLRyan TempletonSr.Florida A&MChicago, Ill
DLMichael NealJr.N.C. A&TGreensboro, N.C.
DLDaniel PinnixJr.N.C. A&THigh Point, N.C.
DLDeon KingJr.Norfolk StateReston, Va
DLGeorge RiddickSr.Norfolk StateSuffolk, Va.
LBJustin HughesJr.S.C. StateVirginia Beach, Va.
LBMarcell CokeSr.Norfolk StateOrlando, Fla.
LBJustin DixonJr.Savannah StateDuluth, Ga.
DBRonald  RobinsonSr.Delaware StateJersey City, N.J.
DBJulien DavidSr.HowardCoral Springs, FL
DBRyan Smithr-So.N.C. CentralUpper Marlboro, Md.
Greg Brown
DeShaun Summers
Domnic Frescura
Savannah State
Morgan State
N.C. A&T
Tucker, Ga.
Hampton, ­Va.
South Pasadena, CA
PKCody JonesSo.N.C. A&TGastonia, N.C.

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