Senior offensive tackle Justin Adekoya, junior place-kicker Lucas Williams and junior punter Keith Wrzuszczak of Eastern Kentucky University were named to the Preaseason All-Ohio Valley Conference Football Team on Monday.
The team was voted on by the league’s head football coaches and sports information directors.
Defending OVC champion Jacksonville State had the most selections to the 28-member team with 10. Next came Southeast Missouri State with five, EKU, Eastern Illinois and Tennessee State with three apiece, Tennessee Tech with two and Murray State and Tennessee-Martin with one each.
Murray State is represented by senior tight end Jesse Blackburn.
Adekoya started 10 games at left tackle for EKU last season as part of an offensive line that ranked 34th in the nation in sacks allowed.
Williams, a first-team All-OVC selection in 2015, made 11 of 14 field goal attempts and 41 of 42 extra-point tries.
Wrzuszczak, a native of Australia, was also an All-OVC first-teamer last season. His net punting average of 43.7 yards set a school record.
Murray State’s Blackburn started six games last season and caught 48 passes for 612 yards and five touchdowns.
Coaches say EKU No. 2
The OVC’s coaches and sports information directors picked Jacksonville State to repeat as league champion. The Gamecocks received 128 points and 16 first-place votes in the preseason poll.
Eastern Kentucky, with 100 points, was picked to finish second, narrowly edging Eastern Illinois’ 97 points. EIU received the only two first-place votes not taken by Jacksonville State.
The remaining predicted order of finish with points received was Tennessee-Martin (96), Southeast Missouri (66), Tennessee State (55), Tennessee Tech (45), Murray State (43) and Austin Peay (18).
Last week, the media who cover the OVC predicted the same order of finish for the top six.
QB: Eli Jenkins, Jacksonville St.
RB: Tremane McCullough, SE Missouri
RB: Devin Church, Eastern Illinois
WR: Josh Barge, Jacksonville St.
WR: Patrick Smith, Tennessee St.
WR: Brock McCoin, Tennessee Tech
TE: Jesse Blackburn, Murray St.
C: Casey Dunn, Jacksonville St.
OG: Jessamen Dunker, Tennessee St.
OG: Garret Baker, SE Missouri
OT: Justin Lea, Jacksonville St.
OT: Dylan Cline, Jacksonville St.
OT: Justin Adekoya, Eastern Ky.
DL: Ebenezer Ogundeko, Tennessee St.
DL: Darius Jackson, Jacksonville St.
DL: Damani Taylor, UT-Martin
DL: Rodney Edwards, Tennessee St.
LB: Roper Garrett, SE Missouri
LB: Joel McCandless, Jacksonville St.
LB: Seth McDonald, Eastern Illinois
DB: Maleek Hall, Tennessee Tech
DB: Mike Ford, SE Missouri
DB: Bradley Dewberry, Eastern Illinois
DB: Jaylen Hill, Jacksonville St.
DB: Eriq Moore, SE Missouri
K: Lucas Williams, Eastern Ky.
P: Keith Wrzuszczak, Eastern Ky.
RS: Lawon DeBardelaben, Jacksonville St.
Offensive Player of the Year: Eli Jenkins, Jacksonville State quarterback
Defensive Player of the Year: Darius Jackson, Jacksonville State defensive lineman