MEAC Announces Preseason Grid Honors

By MEAC Media Relations
Updated: July 26, 2008

NORFORK, Va. — South Carolina State’s Will Ford and Endor Cooper of Howard earned the MEAC’s top football preseason awards, as announced by the league on Friday afternoon at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel.

Ford was selected as the preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Cooper was named the Defensive Player of the Year by the MEAC head football coaches and sports information directors.

For the second year in a row, the South Carolina State Bulldogs were the consensus pick to win the MEAC title in 2008. The defending MEAC Champion Delaware State Hornets finished second in the preseason poll.

In being named as the team to beat in the MEAC again, Coach Buddy Pough’s team, which has finished tied for runner up in the league the last two seasons, received 272 points to 252 for Coach Al Lavan and the 2007 champion Hornets.

Norfolk State, the team that tied the Bulldogs for second in the league standings last year, was third with 216 points, followed by Hampton with 214, Morgan State 170, Florida A&M 120, Bethune-Cookman 91, Howard 85 and North Carolina A&T 35.

Ford led the Bulldogs in total rushing yards with 1,389 yards on 210 attempts and four touchdowns. He finished second in the MEAC in rushing yards per game with an average of 126.3.

Ford earned the MEAC’s Rookie of the Year honor his freshman season and was selected to the All-MEAC First Team as a sophomore.

The Bulldogs return 44 letterwinners from last season’s team. 16 starters, including nine on a defense that was second in the MEAC in fewest yards allowed (287.1 ypg), are among the returnees.

The S.C. State offense, with seven regulars back, led the league in rushing offense (264.0 ypg) and total offense (401.6 ypg).

Cooper earned the defensive player of the year honor after leading the Bison with 50 solo and 87 total tackles in 2007. He finished fifth in the league in tackles and tallied three forced fumbles, fourth best in the MEAC.

Hampton led all teams with six players on the preseason All-MEAC first team. The Pirates also had three second team selections for a total of 11. South Carolina State had 12 total selections on both teams; five were recognized on the first team.

Delaware State, Morgan State and Norfolk State had six total selections each.

MEAC 2008 Preseason Poll

(first-place votes in parentheses)

1. South CarolinaState (6) 272

2, DelawareState (6) 252

3. NorfolkState (2) 216

4. Hampton (2) 214

5. Morgan State 170

6. Florida A&M 120

7. Bethune-Cookman (1) 91

8. Howard 85

9. North Carolina A&T 35

2008 Preseason All-MEAC Team

First Team


QB – TJ Mitchell (r-Jr.) Hampton RB – William Ford (Jr.) SC State RB – Phillip Sylvester (So.) Florida A&M TE – Taj Jenkines (Jr.) Florida A&M WR- Jeremy Gilchrist (r-Sr.) Hampton WR – Jamar Johnson (r-Sr.) Norfolk State OL – Dennis Conley (Sr.) Hampton OL – Jamien Banks (r-Sr.) Norfolk State OL – Devon Dawson (Jr.) SC State OL – Dwayne Delaney (Sr.) Morgan State C- Raymond Harrison SC State


DL-Clarence McPherson (Sr.) Morgan State DL- Ronn Spinner (Sr.) Delaware State DL- Dexter Jackson (Jr.) Bethune-Cookman DL- Cedric Lloyd (Sr.) SC State LB- Endor Cooper (Sr.) Howard LB- Josh Pope (r-Jr.) Delaware State LB – Jarrell Guyton (Sr.) Morgan State LB – Vernon Wilder (r-Sr.) Florida A&M DB – Terrell Whitehead (Jr.) Norfolk State DB- Markee Hamlin (Jr.) SC State DB – Sam Pope (Sr.) Hampton DB – Chris Williams (Sr.) Morgan State

Special Teams P – Jahmal Blanchard (Jr.) Hampton P/K – James Meade (Sr.) MorganState Ret.- Jeremy Gilchrist (r-Sr.) Hampton

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Will Ford, SC State

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Endor Cooper, Howard

Second Team


QB – Vashon Winton (r-Sr.) Delaware State RB- Michael Ferguson (Sr.) North Carolina A&T RB- Kareem Jones (Sr.) Delaware State TE- Octavius Darby (Sr.) SC State WR-Kevin Teel (Sr.) Hampton WR-Oliver Young (Jr.) SC State WR-Jeremy Wicker (r-So.) Norfolk State OL -Anthony Collins (r-Jr.) Florida A&M OL-Reubin Mordecai (r-Sr.) Bethune-Cookman OL- Robert Norris (Sr.) Morgan State OL- Michael Ola (r-So.) Hampton OL-Adrian Brown (Sr.) DelawareState C-Nick Richmond (r-Jr.) Delaware State


DL-Tyre Glasper (Sr.) North Carolina A&T DL-James Simmons (Sr.) SC State DL-Keyon Brooks (Sr.) SC State DL-Dennis Marsh (r-Sr.) Norfolk State LB-Andre Thornton (Jr.) North Carolina A&T LB-Tony White (Sr.) SC State LB-Charles Robinson (r-Sr.) Hampton DB-Curtis Holcomb (So.) FloridaA&M DB-Antoine Cox (Jr.) Bethune-Cookman DB-Don Carey (Sr.) NorfolkState DB-Brandon Colbert (Sr.) North Carolina A&T

Special Teams P-Andre Haire (Jr.) SC State P/K-Carlo Turavani (So.) Hampton Ret.-Corey Council (Sr.) Bethune-Cookman