Southern Conference coaches peek ahead to the fall (AUDIO)

Chattanooga and ETSU appear to be the class of the SoCon this fall (Chattanooga Athletics)

As we roll into the month of August, SportsTalk is revving up its countdown to the upcoming football season. Recently, the Southern Conference held its annual media day to preview the race for the league title and also honor its top players.

Chattanooga is the preseason favorite to win this year’s championship, but it could be a very tight race. ETSU has the preseason offensive player of the year and received just six fewer votes than the Mocs. Furman, with one first place vote, was tabbed fourth in the coaches’ poll, while The Citadel and Wofford were picked eighth and ninth, respectively.

The SoCon’s 2022 season gets underway with Mercer hosting Morehead State on Saturday, Aug. 27, for a week-zero game, followed by four games on Thursday, Sept. 1, and four games on Saturday, Sept. 3. Chattanooga will get its first SoCon test immediately, as it hosts Wofford to open the season on Sept. 3. Comments from Furman HC Clay Hendrix, The Citadel’s Brent Thompson, and Wofford’s Josh Conklin can be found below.

2022 Preseason Southern Conference Coaches Poll
Team (1st-place votes)              Total
1. Chattanooga (5)                          60
2. ETSU (2)                                     54
3. Mercer (1)                                   53
4. Furman (1)                                  43
5. Western Carolina                         38
6. Samford                                      26
7. VMI                                             23
8. The Citadel                                  14
9. Wofford                                       13 

2022 Preseason All-Southern Conference Football Teams
Offensive Player of the Year: Jacob Saylors, Sr., RB, ETSU
Defensive Player of the Year: Devonnsha Maxwell, Sr., DL, Chattanooga

First team offense
QB         Tyler Riddell, R-So., ETSU
RB         Jacob Saylors, Sr., ETSU
RB         Ailym Ford, Jr., Chattanooga
OL         Tavon Matthews, Jr., ETSU
OL         Anderson Tomlin, R-Sr., Furman
OL         Pearson Toomey, R-Jr., Furman

OL         John Thomas, Jr., Mercer
OL         McClendon Curtis, Sr., Chattanooga
OL         Tyler Smith, R-Jr., Western Carolina
TE         Ryan Miller, 5th, Furman
WR        Will Huzzie, R-Jr., ETSU
WR        Raphael Williams, R-So., Western Carolina

First team defense
DL         Jalen Porter, R-Jr., ETSU
DL         Devonnsha Maxwell, Sr., Chattanooga
DL         Jay Person, Jr., Chattanooga
DL         Micheal Mason, Sr., DL, Wofford
LB          Nathan East, Gr., Samford
LB          Ty Boeck, Sr., Chattanooga
LB          Stone Snyder, Sr., VMI
DB         Destin Mack, Sr., The Citadel
DB         Mike Price, R-Jr., ETSU
DB         Travis Blackshear, R-Sr., Furman
DB         Lance Wise, Jr., Mercer

Second team offense
QB         Seth Morgan, R-Jr., VMI
RB         Dominic Roberto, R-Jr., Furman
RB         TJ Jones, Sr., Western Carolina
OL         Tereis Drayton, Jr., The Citadel
OL         Fred Norman, R-So., ETSU
OL         Joe Schreiber, R-Jr., ETSU
OL         Gavin Orr, Gr., Samford
OL         Colin Truett, Jr., Chattanooga
OL         Jarvis Chandler, R-Jr., VMI
OL         Al Hogan, 5th, Wofford
TE         Aidan Twombly, Jr., VMI
WR        Ty James, R-So., Mercer
WR        Leroy Thomas, Sr., VMI

Second team defense
DL         Carson Hatchett, Jr., The Citadel
DL         Cameron Coleman, R-Sr., Furman
DL         Solomon Zubairu, Jr., Mercer
DL         Eric Weaver, R-Sr., VMI
LB          Marquise Blount, Sr., The Citadel
LB          Isaac Dowling, So., Mercer
LB          Kam Jones, Sr., Chattanooga
DB         Alijah Huzzie, R-So., ETSU
DB         CaMiron Smith, Sr., Chattanooga
DB         Aljareek Malry, Sr., VMI
DB         Andreas Keaton, So., Western Carolina

Second team specialists
LS          Colin Springer, 5th, Wofford

Furman — ’22 Southern Conference Kickoff

The Citadel — ’22 Southern Conference Kickoff

Wofford — ’22 Southern Conference Kickoff

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