2017 MEAC Football Media Day Recap

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The 2017 MEAC Football Season is near its start. Last Season, North Carolina Central and North Carolina A&T destroyed everyone in sight. Both teams ended with 9-3 records with NCCU losing in the Celebration Bowl and NCAT losing to Richmond in the first round of the FCS playoffs. This year, the scene is a little different and some teams can break out. The league is slowly getting more traction with help by NFL draft selections, help from ESPN, and better gameplay. Things will be interesting.

Pre-Season Poll

North Carolina Central was picked to win the conference from a poll by MEAC Head Coaches and Sports Information Directors. NCCU was the first school to win the conference with no Co-Champions since Bethune-Cookman in 2012. Coached by Jerry Mack, the Eagles have 8 games within their state of North Carolina. Despite the dominance, North Carolina A&T was closely voted to return to their MEAC Title Crown as well. The NCCU and NCAT rivalry will be hot once again as both teams top the preseason poll.

Projected Order of Finish

1. North Carolina Central (13)

2. North Carolina A&T State (5)

3. South Carolina State

4. Bethune-Cookman

5. Hampton (1)

6. Florida A&M

7. Norfolk State

8. Morgan State

9. Howard

10. Savannah State

11. Delaware State (1)

ESPN U TV Schedule

ESPN and the MEAC will continue their partnership on ESPN U. The schedule will end with the 3rd Annual Celebration Bowl in December. The schedule will start with the SWAC vs MEAC challenge on September 3rd. Most games will be Live on ESPN3 and rebroadcast on ESPN U on the same night.

Sunday, Sept. 3

South Carolina State at Southern

2:30 p.m. ESPN2 (Live)
Thursday, Sept. 21

South Carolina State at North Carolina Central

7:30 p.m. ESPNU (Live)
Thursday, Sept. 28

North Carolina Central at Florida A&M

7:30 p.m. ESPNU (Live)
Friday, Oct. 6

Morgan State at South Carolina State

7:30 p.m. ESPNU (Live)
Saturday, Oct. 14

Hampton at Norfolk State

2 p.m. ESPN3 (Live)/ESPNU (10:30 p.m.)
Saturday, Oct. 21

Bethune-Cookman at North Carolina A&T State

1 p.m. ESPN3 (Live)/ESPNU (10:30 p.m.)
Saturday, Nov. 18

Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M

 2 p.m. ESPN Classic (Live)
Saturday, Nov. 18

MEAC Wildcard (Game TBD depending on MEAC Standings)

2 p.m. ESPN3 (Live)/ESPNU (10:30 p.m.)
Saturday, Dec. 16

Celebration Bowl

12 p.m. ABC (Live)

NFF and MEAC Partnership

The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Football Hall of Fame will be partnering with the MEAC for the 2nd consecutive year. The 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner will be held on Dec. 5 at the New York Hilton Midtown. The 2017 MEAC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year will be revealed at the dinner.

“This is a historic moment for the MEAC as our continued partnership with the NFF is truly significant,” – MEAC Commissioner Dr. Dennis E. Thomas

The MEAC boasts 14 College Football Hall of Fame inductees, including Coach Earl Banks(Morgan State), Emerson Boozer (Maryland Eastern Shore), Roger Brown (Maryland Eastern Shore), Harry Carson (South Carolina State), Coach Jake Gaither (Florida A&M), Willie Galimore (Florida A&M), Coach Willie Jeffries (Howard, South Carolina State), Coach Billy Joe(Florida A&M), Willie Lanier (Morgan State), Coach Vernon “Skip” McCain (Maryland Eastern Shore), Tyrone McGriff (Florida A&M), Coach Doug Porter (Howard), Art Shell (Maryland Eastern Shore) and Donnie Shell (South Carolina State).

North Carolina A&T State running back Tarik Cohen (Offensive Player of the Year) and South Carolina State linebacker Darius Leonard (Defensive Player of the Year) were last year’s winners. Cohen was drafted by the Bears in the 2017 Draft.

Pre-Season All Conference Teams

Offensive Player of the Year: Anthony Philyaw, Howard

Defensive Player of the Year: Darius Leonard, South Carolina State

Anthony Philyaw and Darius Leonard highlights the Pre-Season Conference Teams. NCCU, SCSU, and NCCU were represented well on the Offensive and Defensive First Teams.

FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
QB Lamar Raynard Jr. North Carolina A&T State High Point, N.C.
RB Anthony Philyaw Sr. Howard Los Angeles, Calif.
RB* Yahkee Johnson Sr. Hampton Richmond, Va.
RB* Ramone Simpson Jr. N.C. Central Wilmington, N.C.
WR Elijah Bell So. North Carolina A&T State Wheeling, W. Va.
WR* Brandon Norwood Sr. Florida A&M Atlanta, Ga.
WR* Frank Brown Sr. Bethune-Cookman Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
TE Leroy Hill Jr. North Carolina A&T State Smithfield, N.C.
C Darriel Mack Sr. North Carolina A&T State Clio, S.C.
OL Brandon Parker Sr. North Carolina A&T State Kannapolis, N.C.
OL Nick Leverett So. N.C. Central Concord, N.C.
OL Robbie Stephenson Sr. S.C. State Fairburn, Ga.
OL Justin Evans Sr. S.C. State Florence, S.C.
PK Uriel Hernandez Jr. Bethune-Cookman Homestead, Fla.
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DL* Kevin Thompson R-Sr. Bethune-Cookman Baltimore, Md.
DL* Chris Lee Sr. Norfolk State Woodbridge, Va.
DL Ja’Quan Smith Gr. N.C. Central Miramar, Fla.
DL Antonio Brown Sr. N.C. Central Jacksonville, Fla.
LB Darius Leonard R-Sr. S.C. State Lake View, S.C.
LB Dayshawn Taylor R-Sr. S.C. State Lincolnton, Ga.
LB Reggie Hunter Sr. N.C. Central Henderson, N.C.
DB Alden McClellon Jr. N.C. Central Lake Butler, Fla.
DB* Jason Baxter Gr. S.C. State Manning, S.C.
DB* Diquan Richardson Sr. Bethune-Cookman Alvin, S.C.
DB Zerius Lockhart Sr. North Carolina A&T State Auburn, Ala.
P Nathaniel Tilque Sr. N.C. Central Charlotte, N.C.
RS Khris Gardin Sr. North Carolina A&T State Morganton, N.C.

For the 2nd and 3rd teams, click here

Stephen Thompson

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