Bethune-Cookman Picked to Finish 3rd in Preseason; Seven on All-MEAC Teams
NORFOLK, Va. – The 2012 football countdown has officially begun, with the Preseason Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) press luncheon out of the way, and also with the announcement of the preseason league predicted order of finish and preseason all-conference honors. The Wildcats were again picked among the league’s leaders and garnered seven spots worth of All-MEAC honorees.
Bethune-Cookman was selected third in the preseason predicted order of finish by the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors. Last season, the Wildcats were picked to finish second, which is where they ended the year in 2011. For the 2012 preseason, defending champion Norfolk State was picked first, followed by South Carolina State.
“If all that mattered, just give out the trophy now to who they picked first and why play the games,” said Head Coach Brian Jenkins of the rankings. “I don’t pay any attention to that and it doesn’t really matter to me.”
The Wildcats earned four spots on the first team and three on the second of the preseason All-MEAC teams. Returning from 2011’s All-MEAC first team, running back Isid\ore Jackson heads up the group, after rushing for 866 yards on 146 carries last season. Joining Jackson on the first team are tackle Terrance Hackney and linebacker Jarkevis Fields, who led the team in tackles last year. Safety D.J. Howard joins Fields to make it two from both offense and defense on the first team.
B-CU also logged three on the preseason second team, with receiver Eddie Poole, who joined Coach Jenkins at the press conferences in Norfolk, along with offensive lineman Marquell Rozier and defensive tackle Harold Love III adding honors for the squad.
“It’s good to have those guys recognized for their accomplishments, along with the players from the other teams. I think it speaks volumes about their work and what they do for our team, but right now it really doesn’t mean anything.”
With the annual press event out of the way, the prognostication season is underway, heading into the final stretch before the Wildcats report to camp in the opening days of August.
“I’m excited, I’m ready,” said Jenkins of the upcoming start of camp. “When that moment comes, we’ll take advantage of it in full, and put in the work that we need to put in. Right now, I’m just staying in the moment that I’m in, and that’s preparing, and we’ll see what happens.”
Bethune-Cookman was picked by Lindy’s to be the preseason 14th ranked team in the FCS for the earliest national ranking on the year.
Also honored at the press event were MEAC Woman of the Year, Delaware State’s Jazmyne Hefflefinger, and Man of the Year, North Carolina A&T’s Jared Baldwin.
Bethune-Cookman opens the 2012 season at the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, facing Alabama State in a 12:00 p.m. ESPN-televised game, Sept. 2 at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.