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NASHVILLE - For the sixth-straight year and eighth time in the past 10 years, Jacksonville State has been picked the preseason football favorite in the Ohio Valley Conference for 2019. The Gamecocks, who have won five-straight OVC Championships and 39 of its last 40 OVC games, received 14 of a possible 18 first-place votes in a poll of league head coaches and communications directors.tnst tiger

Tennessee State picked up 61 votes to tie Murray State for fifth in the rankings.

The Tigers had four preseason selections.  On offense; senior wide receiver Chris Rowland (57 catches, 727 yards, 5 touchdowns) , senior center  Thomas Burton and senior guard Raekwon Allen were selected.

Senior DB Dajour Nesbeth (58 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 4 INT, 7 PBU)  was picked on the preseason defensive team.

This season head coach Rod Reed returns 51 letterwinners including eight offensive and seven defensive starters. Among the offensive returners is senior wide receiver and return specialist  Rowland, who was named an All-American by HERO Sports a season ago. He ranked 11th nationally in receptions/game (7.1) and 20th in receiving yards/game (90.9), finishing the year with 57 catches for 727 yards and five touchdowns. He also ranked sixth nationally in punt returns, averaging 13.0 yards on 14 returns.

Preseason All-OVC Team
OFFENSE
QB - Zerrick Cooper, Jacksonville State *
QB - Daniel Santacaterina, Southeast Missouri *
RB - Kentel Williams, Austin Peay *
RB - Daryl McCleskey Jr., Eastern Kentucky
WR - Josh Pearson, Jacksonville State *
WR - Kristian Wilkerson, Southeast Missouri **
WR - Chris Rowland, Tennessee State **
TE - Trae Barry, Jacksonville State *
C - Thomas Burton, Tennessee State
OG - Darius Anderson, Jacksonville State *
OG - Raekwon Allen, Tennessee State **   
OT - Hunter Sosebee, Jacksonville State **
OT - Kyle Anderton, Austin Peay
OT - Terry Fultz, UT Martin

DEFENSE
DL - Aaron Patrick, Eastern Kentucky *   
DL - Julian Crutchfield, UT Martin **
DL - Clarence Thornton, Southeast Missouri **   
DL - Terrell Greer, Eastern Illinois
DL - Austin Pickett, UT Martin
LB - Zach Hall, Southeast Missouri *
LB - Jalen Choice, Jacksonville State **       
LB - Justin Swift, Southeast Missouri **
DB - Marlon Bridges, Jacksonville State *
DB - Bydarrius Knighten, Southeast Missouri *
DB - Dajour Nesbeth, Tennessee State *       
DB - Leodis Moore III, Eastern Kentucky *        

SPECIALISTS
K - Gabriel Vicente, Murray State *       
P - Steve Dawson, Murray State *
RS - Malik Honeycutt, Murray State *        

* - 1st team All-OVC team in 2018     
** - 2nd team All-OVC team in 2018

2019 OVC Football Preseason Poll

1. Jacksonville State (14 first-place votes) – 126 points

2, Southeast Missouri (4 first-place votes) - 115

3. Eastern Kentucky - 98    

4. Austin Peay - 70

5. Murray State - 61

     Tennessee State - 61

7. UT Martin - 60

8. Eastern Illinois - 35

9. Tennessee Tech - 22

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