NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State was picked to finish sixth in the Preseason Poll announced by the Ohio Valley Conference to begin Media Day on Monday. The Tigers are coming off a 6-5 season, 2-5 in conference play, and their fifth non-losing season in the past six seasons.
The Tigers fared better in the Media Poll, finishing fourth behind defending conference champion Jacksonville State, Austin Peay and UT Martin.
Junior wide receiver Steven Newbold, junior cornerback Dajour Nesbeth and sophomore safety Vincent Sellers were named to the Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference team.
Newbold caught 34 passes for 627 yards and four touchdowns during his sophomore season. The receiver highlighted the season by being named player of the game at the Tampa Classic versus Florida A&M (9/17) after catching five passes for 117 yards, including an ESPN Top 10 – 44 yard touchdown where he eluded eight defenders.
Sellers had a stellar freshman season being named a 2017 HERO Sports FCS Freshman All-America Team Honorable Mention selection. Sellers also earned spots on the All-OVC Second Team and OVC All-Newcomer squad. The sophomore finished 15th in the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award race after playing in all 11 games, starting 10, at safety. Sellers collected 49 tackles, 36 solo, 2.0 for loss, two interceptions, five pass breakups, a safety and a blocked punt. The Sarasota, Fla. product was named STATS Freshman Player of the Week (10/9) for his outing two pick-six performance at Eastern Kentucky.
Nesbeth started all 11 games at cornerback, picking off two passes, breaking up nine passes and made 48 stops. The junior collected 33 solo tackles and 1.5 for loss. Nesbeth secured the win in the season opener over FBS opponent Georgia State with an interception in the final minute of the game.
The Tigers open camp on Saturday, Aug. 3, in preparation for the season opener on Sept. 1 against Bethune-Cookman in the John Merritt Classic.
2018 OVC Preseason Football Predicted Order of Finish
1. Jacksonville State (14 first-place votes) 126
2. Austin Peay (4) 112
3. UT Martin 95
4. Eastern Illinois 73
5. Eastern Kentucky 69
6. Tennessee State 64
7. Southeast Missouri 62
8. Murray State 24
9. Tennessee Tech 23
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Marquis Terry (RB), Southeast Missouri
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Marlon Bridges (DB), Jacksonville State
QB Jeremiah Oatsvall, Austin Peay, So.
RB Marquis Terry, Southeast Missouri, Sr.
RB Ladarius Galloway, UT Martin, Sr.
WR Alexander Hollins, Eastern Illinois, Sr.
WR Steven Newbold, Tennessee State, Jr.
TE Dan Paul, Eastern Kentucky, Sr.
C Tyler Scozzaro, Jacksonville State, Sr.
OG B.J. Autry, Jacksonville State, Sr.
OG Ryan Rockensuess, Austin Peay, Sr.
OG Darius Anderson, Jacksonville State, Jr.
OT Drew Forbes, Southeast Missouri, Sr.
OT Kyle Anderton, Austin Peay, Sr.
DL Randy Robinson, Jacksonville State, Sr.
DL Jaison Williams, Austin Peay, Jr.
DL Aaron Patrick, Eastern Kentucky, R-Jr.
DL Kenney Wooten, Murray State, Sr.
DL Tim Collins, Tennessee Tech, Sr.
LB Zach Hall, Southeast Missouri, Jr.
LB James Gilleylen, UT Martin, Sr.
LB Gunnar Scholato, Austin Peay Sr.
DB Vincent Sellers, Tennessee State, So.
DB Marlon Bridges, Jacksonville State, Jr.
DB Mark Williams, Eastern Illinois, So.
DB Dajour Nesbeth, Tennessee State, So.
K Cade Stinnett, Jacksonville State, Sr.
K Gabriel Vicente, Murray State, Jr.
P Nick Madonia, Tennessee Tech, Sr.
RS LJ Scott, Eastern Kentucky, Sr.
RS Peyton Logan, UT Martin, So.
2018 Media OVC Preseason Football Predicted Order of Finish
- Jacksonville State (14 first-place votes) - 134 points
- Austin Peay (1) - 114
- UT Martin - 96
- Tennessee State - 91
- Eastern Illinois - 83
- Eastern Kentucky - 64
- Murray State - 39
- Southeast Missouri - 35
- Tennessee Tech – 19