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SWAC preseason honors are announced
BIRMINGHAM — The SWAC announced its 2009 Football Preseason Honors Tuesday, headlined by Southern QB Bryant Lee voted the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, and Grambling State DL Christian Anthony voted Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Grambling State, the 2008 SWAC Champion, was picked to repeat.
All preseason honors and predicted order of finish were voted on by the league’s coaches, sports information departments and selected members of the media.
Lee, the 2008 SWAC Offensive Player of the Year and first teamâ€allâ€SWAC selection, led the SWAC in completions (217), attempts (352), passing yards (2,682) and touchdown passes (20) while throwing just seven interceptions.
Lee was seventh in the conference and second in rushing yards among quarterbacks with 534 yards (on 139 attempts) with six touchdowns. Lee had four games of at least 300 yards passing (including one 400â€yard game), and posted backâ€toâ€back games where he accounted for at least five touchdowns.
Anthony was a firstâ€team allâ€SWAC selection in 2008 and the Defensive Most Valuable Player of the SWAC Football Championship game.
Last season he posted 55 tackles (17 for loss) and eight sacks for the SWAC and HBCU National Champions. Anthony was tied for fourth in the league in sacks last season and was sixth in the Conference in tackles for loss.
In the SWAC Championship game, Anthony posted seven tackles (three for loss), two sacks and two QB hurries in the win over Jackson State.
Grambling State was picked to repeat as SWAC Champions. GSU, the twoâ€time reigning Western Division champs, has played in backâ€toâ€back title games, and last year avenged a 2007 SWAC Championship Game loss to Jackson State.
Jackson State, winners of the Eastern Division crown in each of the past two seasons, was picked to defend its division title.
There were 21 players named to this year’s preseason allâ€conference team that earned 2008 postseason honors including WR Thomas Harris, DE Jeremy Maddox, OL Xavier Manual, and K Jeremy Licea (Alabama A&M), Anthony, CB Kenneth Anio, QB Greg Dillon, OL Revay Smith, and RB Cornelius Walker (Grambling State).
Also included are OL Mikeal Harshaw, DB Malcolm Palmer and K Eric Perri (Jackson State), RB Donald Babers, DB Anthony Beck, OL James Delke, and DL Quinton Spears (Prairie View A&M), Lee and WR Juamorris Stewart (Southern), WR William Osbourne and DB DE’Markus Washington (Texas Southern), and DB Kevin Thornton (Univ. Arkansasâ€Pine Bluff).
The 2009 SWAC Championship Game will be played Saturday, December 12 in Birmingham at Legion Field.