Football Picked Second In CAA North
July 29, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - The Colonial Athletic Association released its 2009 football Preseason Poll and All-Conference Team on Wednesday. In a vote of the 12 conference coaches and select media, Richmond and Villanova were picked to share the overall CAA crown. UMass earned seven first-place divisional votes and was picked to finish second in the North Division. The Minutemen logged five preseason honorees: running back Tony Nelson, wide receiver Victor Cruz, offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse, linebacker Josh Jennings and safety Jeromy Miles.
All five Minutemen selected to the Preseason All-Conference Team were first team All-CAA performers in 2008, with Ducasse also being named a first team All-American.
Richmond, which returns 18 starters off last year's NCAA National Championship team, and Villanova, which returns 16 starters from 2008, are picked to share the overall CAA Football Championship in 2009. New Hampshire, last season's North Division winner, was also picked to repeat in the North according to a vote of the league's 12 head coaches and selected media. The results of the poll, along with the Preseason All-Conference squads, were announced during Wednesday's CAA Football Media Day at the ESPNZone in Baltimore, Md.
Richmond junior linebacker Eric McBride, William and Mary senior defensive end Adrian Tracy and New Hampshire junior quarterback R.J. Toman headlined the 2009 CAA Football Preseason All-Conference squad as all three were selected as Preseason Players of the Year. McBride, who earned All-America honors as a sophomore in 2008, and Tracy, the league's leader in sacks per game last season, shared Defensive honors while Toman picked up Offensive honors thanks a 2008 campaign which saw him rack up 3,000 yards passing and 28 touchdowns.
Richmond, which knocked off four league champions on its run to the 2008 NCAA National Championship, placed a total of five on the Preseason All-Conference squad. McBride was joined by cornerback Justin Rogers on the defense. Wide receiver Kevin Grayson logged preseason honors while Richmond's Matt McCracken and Michael Silva made up two of the five preseason offensive linemen.
Villanova, which logged nine first-place votes among the Southern division, placed four on the preseason list including wide receiver Matt Szczur, offensive lineman Ben Ijalana, defensive lineman Tim Kukucka and linebacker Osayi Osunde. James Madison, the 2008 CAA Football Champion, picked up one first-place vote in the South and finished third in divisional voting. The Dukes, who became the league's first undefeated league champion since 2006, placed three on the preseason squad including offensive lineman Dorian Brooks, defensive lineman Arthur Moats and return specialist Scotty McGee.
Delaware, selected fourth among the South Division, placed two on the preseason squad including defensive lineman Matt Marcorelle and safety Charles Graves. William and Mary, which logged four preseason all-league honorees, came in fifth in South Division voting. Running back Jonathan Grimes, placekicker Brian Pate and punter David Miller joined Tracy on the preseason all-conference squad. Towson rounded out the South Division voting in sixth place.
Joining Toman on the preseason squad from Northern Division favorite New Hampshire was tight end Scott Sicko and cornerback Dino Vasso.
Maine's fullback Jared Turcotte earned preseason honors, while the Black Bears came in third among North Division voting. Hofstra, selected fourth in the North Division, was represented by linebacker Luke Bonus on the preseason squad. Northeastern and Rhode Island were picked fifth and sixth, respectively in the North. CAA Football's 2009 regular season is set to kick off Sept. 3 when Villanova travels across Philadelphia to face Temple and Maine hosts St. Cloud State. The first CAA Football league contests of 2009 will take place Sept. 12 when Richmond travels to Delaware and Maine visits Northeastern.
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