Hero Sports releases preseason honors
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 06/12/2018
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Samford's Devlin Hodges
Courtesy: William J. Dorsten

SPARTANBURG – Eight Southern Conference football players earned preseason All-America honors from Hero Sports and three league teams appeared in its preseason top 25, the organization announced Tuesday. Samford led the SoCon with a No. 6 preseason ranking and three preseason All-Americans.

No. 14 Wofford and No. 16 Furman also represent the SoCon in the preseason poll.

The SoCon had three student-athletes earn first-team All-America honors. Four were second-team selections and one earned a spot on the third team.

Samford went 8-4 overall and 6-2 in SoCon play last season, reaching the FCS playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1992. The Bulldogs return reigning SoCon Offensive Player of the Year Devlin Hodges (quarterback) and reigning SoCon Defensive Player of the Year Ahmad Gooden (defensive lineman), who both earned preseason first-team All-America honors from Hero Sports. Wide receiver Kelvin McKnight earned a spot on the second team offense.

Defending league champion Wofford went 10-3 overall and 7-1 in the SoCon last season, reaching the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs. Wofford will be led in 2018 by new head coach Josh Conklin after SoCon Hall of Fame coach Mike Ayers retired at the end of the season after 30 years on the Terriers’ sideline. Defensive lineman Miles Brown earned a spot on Hero Sports’ preseason All-America second team.

Furman was 8-5 overall in 2017 and shared second place with Samford at 6-2 in the league as first-year coach Clay Hendrix was named SoCon Coach of the Year. The Paladins downed Elon in the first round of the FCS playoffs before bowing out to Wofford in the second round.

Western Carolina defensive back Marvin Tillman joins Samford’s Hodges and Gooden on the Hero Sports preseason All-America first team, while Catamount punter Ian Berryman was a second-team special teams pick.

The Citadel had a pair of preseason All-America selections in second-team offensive lineman Tyler Davis and third-team defensive back Aron Spann.

For Hero Sports' full All-America release, click here.

For its full preseason top 25 release, click here.



  1. North Dakota St. (3) 75
  2. James Madison 72
  3. Kennesaw 69
  4. Eastern Washington 64
  5. South Dakota State 58
  6. Samford 57
  7. New Hampshire 56
  8. Sam Houston State 54
  9. Delaware 48
  10. Jacksonville St. 45
  11. Elon 38
  12. Illinois State 37
  13. Northern Iowa 34
  14. Wofford 33
  15. Nicholls 32
  16. Furman 25
  17. Villanova 24
  18. Weber State 23
  19. Yale 22
  20. Youngstown State 16
  21. North Carolina A&T 13
  22. UC Davis 12
  23. Idaho 11
  24. Stony Brook 10
  25. Austin Peay 9



Montana 7

Sacramento State 7

San Diego 6

Montana State 4

Northern Arizona 3

South Dakota 2

Grambling 2

Southern Illinois 2

Howard 1

Colgate 1


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