South Carolina State Selected as Preseason Favorite for Third Straight Year

NORFOLK, Va., July 30, 2010 – South Carolina State’s Malcolm Long and Julio Sanchez of Hampton earned the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s (MEAC) top football preseason awards, as announced by the conference on Friday afternoon at the Norfolk Marriott Hotel.  Long was selected as the preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Sanchez was named the preseason Defensive Player of the Year by the MEAC head football coaches and sports information directors.

For the third year in row the defending MEAC champion South Carolina State Bulldogs were the consensus pick to win the conference title in 2010.  The Florida A&M Rattlers finished second in the preseason poll.

Long led the MEAC in passing last year setting a school record with 2,503 total yards with 20 touchdowns.  He completed 64-percent of his passes (208-343) and averaged a conference season high 208.6 yards per game.  A second team All-MEAC selection and All-State performer in 2009, Long guided the Bulldogs to their second straight conference title while boasting a record high 19-game MEAC win streak.

A native of Gaffney, S.C., Long accounted for 25 total touchdowns last season, five of them rushing.  He set new standards for SCSU in completions (209), attempts (324), and completion percentage (64.5) in additional to total yards.  Long was recently named as one of 11 quarterback to the Sports Network’s 2010 Payton Award Watch List, which highlights the top offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

Sanchez , a native of Miami, Florida, finished second in the MEAC last year in total tackles averaging 8.9 per game.  He recorded 51 solo, 47 assisted, with 1.5 sacks.  He also tallied eight tackles for 23-yard loss, two breakups, one fumble and two fumble recoveries for the Pirates who finished with a 5-6 overall last year.

Sanchez’ efforts in the linebacker corp aided the Pirates’ defense that finished third in the MEAC in total defense, allowing just 278.1 yards per game, and second in rushing defense, giving up just 117.0 yards on the ground per game.

South Carolina State led all teams with eight players on the preseason All-MEAC first team.  The Bulldogs also had six players to make the second team.

2010 Predicted Order of Finish

1. South Carolina State (15)   315
2.  Florida A&M (2)               268
3. Norfolk State                   190
4. Hampton (1)                   167
5. Morgan State                   166
6. North Carolina A&T            150
7. Delaware State                 120
8. Bethune-Cookman              68
9. Howard                            32


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