Widespread Talent Forms The Sports Network FCS Preseason All-America Team
PHILADELPHIA, July 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- You don't have to look far to find the talent in the Football Championship Subdivision, it's everywhere.
The Sports Network FCS Preseason All-America Team, released Monday, is 98 players deep and comes from 59 different schools and all 13 conferences.
It's a standout three teams that feature running backs, offensive linemen and two-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State.
Eleven players on the preseason first team were selected to the 2012 FCS All-America first team which was announced last December. Another 24 from the second and third teams return as well.
Returning to the first-team offense are South Dakota State junior running back Zach Zenner, Eastern Illinois senior wide receiver Erik Lora, Tennessee State junior tight end A.C. Leonard, three offensive linemen - Stony Brook's Michael Bamiro, North Dakota State's Billy Turner and South Dakota State's Bryan Witzmann, all seniors - and Murray State senior all-purpose standout Walter Powell.
Back to the first-team defense are Illinois State senior defensive end Colton Underwood, North Dakota State senior cornerback Marcus Williams, Samford junior safety Jaquiski Tartt and Northern Arizona senior punter Andy Wilder.
Williams has been a first-team All-American in each of the last two seasons. He, Turner and senior linebacker Grant Olson give North Dakota State a national-best three first-teamers on the preseason squad. Senior punt returner Ryan Smith is on the second team and senior defensive tackle Leevon Perry joins the third team.
The Missouri Valley Football Conference, home to NDSU, has 17 selections, leading the nation.
Running back is such a deep position that three made the preseason first team. Zenner led the FCS with 2,044 rushing yards last season, Indiana State senior Shakir Bell was the 2011 national rushing champion and Sam Houston State senior Timothy Flanders should become the Southland Conference's all-time leading rusher.
The trio would have the right blockers on the offensive line as Bamiro (6-foot-8, 345 pounds), Turner (6-6, 300) and Witzmann (6-7, 300) form a mountainous group with Montana senior tackle Danny Kistler (6-8, 315) and Youngstown State senior center Chris Elkins (6-4, 290).
The first-team quarterback, Montana State senior DeNarius McGhee, already is a three-time finalist for the Walter Payton Award.
Rounding out the first-team offense are Georgia Southern junior fullback Dominique Swope, Appalachian State sophomore wide receiver Sean Price, Southern Utah senior place-kicker Colton Cook and Samford senior kickoff returner Fabian Truss.
Linebacker is always a deep position on the FCS level. In addition to Olson, the first-team selections are three other seniors, Duquesne's Dorian Bell, James Madison's Stephon Robertson and Montana's Jordan Tripp.
Up front are Underwood and fellow defensive end Davis Tull of Chattanooga, a sophomore, as well as senior tackles Antoine Lewis of Villanova and Caraun Reid of Princeton.
Tennessee State cornerback Steven Goldbolt and Missouri State safety Caleb Schaffitzel join Williams and Tartt in the secondary. The other first-teamers are Wilder, Liberty senior long snapper Richard Wright and North Carolina A&T senior punt returner D'Vonte Graham.
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SOURCE The Sports Network