|Breitenstein, Russell Named Preseason Players of Year|
|Written by Jason Yaman|
|Thursday, 26 July 2012 13:17|
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.
Photo Courtesy: Eric Breitenstein, Wofford College Athletics
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