SPARTANBURG, SC (WRCB) -- Eight University of Tennessee at Chattanooga players have been named to the preseason All-SoCon rosters in balloting by league coaches.
Defensive end Josh Williams, linebacker Wes Dothard and safety D.J. Key were all first-team selections on the rosters released Thursday as part of SoCon Media Day.
Williams and Dothard were both named preseason All-Americans by The Sports Network (TSN) two weeks ago. Dothard is also on the watch list for the Buck Buchanan Award, which goes out annually to the nation's top FCS defender.
Tight end Faysel Shafaat, offensive lineman Adam Miller, defensive end Davis Tull, defensive back Kadeem Wise and kicker Nick Pollard all garnered second-team nods.
Appalachian State led all schools with ten all-conference honorees, including three on the first-team. Chattanooga tied Samford for the second-largest all-SoCon contingent.
Georgia Southern was picked by both media and coaches to win the league, but the Eagles placed just five players on the preseason all-SoCon rosters. Furman led all schools with five first-team selections.
The biggest awards went to familiar names.
Wofford running back Eric Breitenstein, the reigning Offensive Player of the Year, and Georgia Southern defensive lineman Brent Russell, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, were both preseason picks to earn those honors again this season.
The 2012 Southern Conference season begins Thursday, August 30 when Western Carolina hosts Mars Hill. The league's eight other teams hit the field Saturday, September 1, including a conference game between Furman and Samford.
The Mocs will open the fall at Big East foe South Florida.
2012 Southern Conference Football Preseason All-Conference Teams
Offensive Player of the Year: Eric Breitenstein, Sr., RB, Wofford
Defensive Player of the Year: Brent Russell, Sr., DL, Georgia Southern
First Team Offense
QB Jamal Jackson, Jr., Appalachian State
RB Jerodis Williams, Sr., Furman
RB Eric Breitenstein, Sr., Wofford
OL Mike Sellers, Jr., The Citadel
OL Dakota Dozier, Jr., Furman
OL Dorian Byrd, Jr., Georgia Southern
OL Ryan Dudchock, Sr., Samford
OL Jake Miles, Sr. Wofford
TE Colin Anderson, Sr., Furman
WR Aaron Mellette, Sr., Elon
WR Kelsey Pope, Jr., Samford
First Team Defense
DL Chris Billingslea, Sr., The Citadel
DL Josh Lynn, Sr., Furman
DL Brent Russell, Sr., Georgia Southern
DL Josh Williams, Sr., Chattanooga
LB Jeremy Kimbrough, Sr., Appalachian State
LB Wes Dothard, Jr., Chattanooga
LB Alvin Scioneaux, Jr., Wofford
DB Demetrius McCray, Sr., Appalachian State
DB Greg Worthy, Jr., Furman
DB Deion Stanley, So., Georgia Southern
DB D.J. Key, Jr., Chattanooga
First Team Specialists
PK Cameron Yaw, Sr., Samford
P Cass Couey, Sr., The Citadel
RS Fabian Truss, Jr., Samford
Second Team Offense
QB Thomas Wilson, Sr., Elon
RB Darien Robinson, Jr., The Citadel
RB Fabien Truss, Jr., Samford
OL Kendall Lamm, So., Appalachian State
OL Blake DeBartola, Sr., Georgia Southern
OL Charlie Sanford, Sr., Samford
OL Adam Miller, Sr., Chattanooga
OL Jared Singleton, Jr., Wofford
OL (tie) Calvin Cantrell, Sr., Wofford
TE Faysal Shafaat, So., Chattanooga
WR Andrew Peacock, Jr., Appalachian State
WR Tony Washington, Jr., Appalachian State
Second Team Defense
DL Ronald Blair, So., Appalachian State
DL Derek Douglas, Jr., The Citadel
DL Tony Thompson, Jr., Elon
DL Nick Williams, Sr., Samford
DL (tie) Davis Tull, So., Chattanooga
LB Brandon Grier, Sr., Appalachian State
LB Mitch McGrath, Sr., Furman
LB Darius Eubanks, Sr., Georgia Southern
LB (tie) Rock Williams, Sr., Western Carolina
DB Troy Sanders, Sr., Appalachian State
DB Alvin Hines II, Sr., Samford
DB Kadeem Wise, Jr., Chattanooga
DB Nathan Wade, Sr., Furman
Second Team Specialists
PK Nick Pollard, So., Chattanooga
P Sam Martin, Sr., Appalachian State
RS Darreion Robinson, Sr., Georgia Southern
NOTE: Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.