Lenoir-Rhyne University, the two-time defending South Atlantic Conference
Champion, led the way with 10 selections on the 2013 preseason football all-league first and second teams.
L-R junior tailback Jarrod Spears (Bunnlevel, N.C.) and senior offensive lineman Parker Murray (Ninety Six, S.C.) both were selected to the All-SAC Preseason First Team for offense.
Spears, an all-region selection, led the squad in rushing yards (994) last season while averaging 13.3 yards per carry and nine touchdowns and Murray, the starting center, helped pave the way for Lenoir-Rhyne to finish second in the nation in rushing offense (376.2 ypg) last season. Murray was a 2012 all-conference second-team honoree.
On defense, senior defensive backs Michael Green (Kingsland, Ga.) and Myer Nolan (Atlanta, Ga.) and junior linebacker Tanner Botts (Lawrenceville, Ga.) were named to the preseason first team.
Green, a two-time First-Team All-SAC selection (2011-12), finished third on the team in tackles (73) last fall to go along with four picks including a 100-yard interception return for a score in the playoffs while Nolan led the Bears with six interceptions in addition to 61 tackles. Both Green and Nolan were all-region selections as well.
Botts came into his own last year and finished first on the squad in tackles with 113 to go along with four sacks and two interceptions en route to all-league and all-region honors. Botts was named a preseason All-American this summer by Beyond Sports Network (BSN).
The All-SAC Preseason Second Team selections for the Bears include Green as a return specialist, junior fullback Isaiah Whitaker (Salisbury, N.C.), senior tailback Graham Duncan (Gainesville, Ga.), senior offensive lineman Zack Bunn (Lucama, N.C.), senior defensive lineman B.J. Woodley (Charlotte, N.C.) and senior placekicker Zach Neumann (Mechanicsville, Md.).
Green led the Bears in punt return yards (166) while Neumann set the school record for points in a season by a kicker (84) last year. Neumann was also an all-conference and all-region selection in 2012.
Whitaker finished second on the team in rushing yards (874) last year on a team-high 178 carries and five scores. For his efforts, Whitaker was named an NCAA Division II All-American by Don Hansen and was a preseason AA selection this year by College Football America.
Duncan rushed for 612 yards with four scores while averaging close to 10 yards per carry in 2012 while Bunn has started since the middle of his freshman season. Bunn is one of the team's starting tackles.
Woodley totaled 37 tackles including nine for a loss last season in addition to four quarterback sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Lenoir-Rhyne (9-3, 6-1), which advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs last year, opens the 2013 campaign at home on Saturday, September 7, against Concord at 7:00 p.m.
2013 All-South Atlantic Conference
Preseason Football Teams
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
QB - Bo Cordell, Tusculum
RB - Brandon Baker, Carson-Newman
RB - Jarrod Spears, Lenoir-Rhyne
RB - Shaikel Davis, Mars Hill
WR - Dimitri Holmes, Mars Hill
WR - Corey Washington, Newberry
WR - Deunta Jennings, Mars Hill
TE - Mark Clyburn, Wingate
OL - Nick Allison, Mars Hill
OL - Alex Taylor, Carson-Newman
OL - Andrew Velazquez, Brevard
OL - Parker Murray, Lenoir-Rhyne
OL - Robby Ignani, Carson-Newman
PK - Curt Duncan, Carson-Newman
RS - L.J. McCray, Catawba
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DL - Troy Harris, Mars Hill
DL - Jacob Hanes, Catawba
DL - Letavious Williams, Newberry
DL - Nick Napolitano, Wingate
LB - Tanner Botts, Lenoir-Rhyne
LB - Michael Gruber, Brevard
LB - Jasper Mason, Mars Hill
LB - Brian Alexander, Tusculum
DB - Michael Green, Lenoir-Rhyne
DB - Myer Nolan, Lenoir-Rhyne
DB - Timmy Rogers, Wingate
DB - L.J. McCray, Catawba
LS - Austin Crook, Newberry
P - Chad Hollandsworth, Catawba
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
QB - W.T. Murden, Newberry
RB - Isaiah Whitaker, Lenoir-Rhyne
RB - Tyrone Douglas, Carson-Newman
RB - Graham Duncan, Lenoir-Rhyne
WR - Nate Charest, Catawba
WR - Jason Livingston, Newberry
WR - Justin Houston, Tusculum
TE - Wesley Powell, Tusculum
OL - Lucas Mathis, Carson-Newman
OL - Zack Bunn, Lenoir-Rhyne
OL - Jamal Ellis, Newberry
OL - David Davis, Tusculum
OL - Mike Miller, Wingate
PK - Zach Neumann, Lenoir-Rhyne
RS - Michael Green, Lenoir-Rhyne
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DL - Damein Lee, Catawba
DL - Javaris Neal, Carson-Newman
DL - B.J. Woodley, Lenoir-Rhyne
DL - Rommie Fairchild, Brevard
LB - Jaycob Coleman, Carson-Newman
LB - Jason Taylor, Catawba
LB - B.J. Mazyck, Newberry
LB - Billy Muscatello, Brevard
DB - Sean Rawson, Carson-Newman
DB - David Davis, Newberry
DB - Kaytron Becton, Tusculum
DB - Jakeem Polk, Wingate
LS - Chase Lewis, Brevard
P - Austin Anthony, Wingate