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Baker, Ray earn All-American Accolades PDF Print
Written by Staff Reports   
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 17:00

Lenoir-Rhyne's Blake Baker and Joe Ray were named to the 2014 D2Football.com Preseason All-American First Team while the Bears were picked seventh in its national preseason Top 25 poll.

 

 

 

Baker, a senior defensive lineman from Bethlehem, N.C., earned All-American honors by several publications last year after establishing a school record for single-season sacks (14.5) to go along with 56 tackles including 22 for a loss.

 

Baker added five quarterback hurries to go along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery and was one of the anchors of the league's best defense in 2013.

 

Ray, a junior offensive lineman from Atlanta, Ga., earned All-American laurels year as well and was the recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy in 2013. The award is given annually to the top offensive lineman in the South Atlantic Conference.

 

Ray led a unit which finished first in the nation in rushing offense last year (370.9 ypg) and set an all-time NCAA single-season record with 5,563 yards on the ground.

 

Lenoir-Rhyne (13-2) won its third straight South Atlantic Conference Championship last season and advanced to the NCAA Division II Championship game last December before falling to Northwest Missouri State, 43-28, in Florence, Ala.

 

Lenoir-Rhyne opens the season on Saturday, September 6, at home against Point (Ga.) at Moretz Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. The Bears are coached by first-year mentor Ian Shields.

 

2014 D2Football.com

Preseason All-America Team

First Team Offense

QB - Kevin Rodgers, 6-3, 215, Sr., Henderson State

RB - Terrell Watson, 6-2, 230, Sr., Azusa Pacific

RB - Tyler Tonderum, 5-10, 190, Sr., Southwest Minnesota State

WR - Darius Davis, 5-11, 210, Sr., Henderson State

WR - Vernon Johnson, 6-1, 190, Sr., Texas A&M-Commerce

TE - Jamie Potts, 6-3, 235, Jr., Grand Valley State

OL - Cole Manhart, 6-6, 300, Sr., Nebraska-Kearney

OL - Matthew Reece, 6-3, 310, Sr., Tuskegee

OL - Joe Ray, 6-0, 270, Jr., Lenoir-Rhyne

OL - Jack Abercrombie, 6-2, 290, Sr., California

OL - Casey Beck, 6-7, 295, Sr., Upper Iowa

 

First Team Defense

DL - Blake Baker, 6-1, 250, Sr., Lenoir-Rhyne

DL - Charles Tuaau, 6-5, 310, Sr., Texas A&M-Commerce

DL - Matt Longacre, 6-3, 240, Sr., Northwest Missouri State

DL - Darius Allen, 6-3, 240, Sr., CSU-Pueblo

LB - Leon Furr, 6-3, 235, Sr., Fort Valley

LB - D.J. Gnader, 6-2, 225, Sr., Northwest Missouri State

LB - Ronell Williams, 6-1, 230, Jr., West Chester

DB - Tyler Thornton, 5-8, 180, Sr., Azusa Pacific

DB - C.J. Roberts, 6-0, 180, Sr., CSU-Pueblo

DB - Isaiah Davis, 5-10, 175, Jr., Central Washington

DB - Al-Hajj Shabazz, 6-1, 185, Sr., West Chester

 

First Team Special Teams

K - Brent Wahle, 6-2, 175, Jr., Ohio Dominican

P - Andrew Cerett, 6-5, 260, Jr., California (Pa.)

AP - Marquez Clark, 5-11, 190, Sr., Central Oklahoma

 

Second Team Offense

QB - Chris Bonner, 6-7, 225, Sr., CSU-Pueblo

RB - Anthony Taylor, 5-11, 210, Sr., Ashland

RB - Daiquone Ford, 5-7, 190, Jr., Findlay

WR - Marquez Clark, 5-11, 190, Sr., Central Oklahoma

WR - Trevor Harman, 6-2, 210, Sr., Shippensburg

TE - Lucas Hefty, 6-4, 235, Sr., Upper Iowa

OL - Cory Tucker, 6-4, 280, Jr., Slippery Rock

OL - Cody Clay, 6-6, 330, Sr., Azusa Pacific

OL - Jim Walsh, 6-5, 310, Jr., Grand Valley State

OL - Jarrett Stastny, 6-4, 300, So., Emporia State

OL - Josh Meeker, 6-1, 285, Sr., Minnesota State

 

Second Team Defense

DL - Julian Howsare, 6-3, 255, Sr., Clarion

DL - Kevin Brewton, 6-3, 250, Sr., Findlay

DL - Bryan Thomson, 6-1, 290, Sr., East Stroudsburg

DL - Brandon Yost, 6-2, 280, Jr., Northwest Missouri State

LB - Grant Singer, 6-1, 215, Sr. , Mary

LB - Justin Shirk, 6-1, 240, Sr., Bloomsburg

LB - Isaiah Fleming, 5-11, 220, Jr., Cheyney

DB - Mike Jordan, 6-0, 190, Jr., Missouri Western

DB - Harold Jones-Quartey, 5-11, 200, Sr., Findlay

DB - Colin Kimball, 5-11, 160, Sr., Mercyhurst

DB - Joe Beckham, 5-11, 180, Jr., Miles

 

Second Team Special Teams

K - Justin Linn, 6-1, 195, So., Washburn

P - Scott Groner, 6-4, 200, Sr., Missouri Western

AP - C.J. Davis, 5-9, 180, So., Shepherd

 

2014 D2Football.com

Preseason Top 25 Poll

1. Northwest Missouri 15-0

2. Grand Valley 12-3

3. CSU-Pueblo 11-1

4. Minnesota Duluth 11-2

5. Minnesota State 11-1

6. North Alabama 10-3

7. Lenoir-Rhyne 13-2

8. Henderson State 11-1

9. Pittsburg State 10-2

10. Ohio Dominican 10-1

11. West Chester 13-2

12. St. Cloud 12-2

13. West Texas A&M 11-3

14. Shepherd 11-1

15. Indianapolis 10-2

16. Carson-Newman 10-3

17. Winston-Salem State 10-2

18. UNC Pembroke 9-2

19. Emporia State 9-2

20. Saginaw Valley 9-3

21. Ferris State 8-3

22. Tarleton State 7-3

23. Indiana (Pa.) 9-2

24. Missouri Western 8-3

25. Bloomsburg 10-2

 

Photo Courtesy: Blake Baker, L-R Athletics

  
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