NORFOLK, Va. – North Carolina A&T State running back Tarik Cohen was selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while South Carolina State linebacker Darius Leonard was selected as preseason Defensive Player of the Year. [easyazon_infoblock align=”right” cart=”y” identifier=”B011DS39D2″ locale=”US” tag=”hbcusports-20″]

All votes are submitted by the MEAC’s head football coaches and sports information directors/football contacts.

Cohen, the two-time defending Player of the Year, led the MEAC in rushing with 977 total yards in 2015. A two-time MEAC Offensive Player of the Week, Cohen led the conference with 122.1 rushing yards per game, carrying the ball 183 times, with nine touchdowns in eight games. He finished first in the MEAC in touchdowns and all-purpose yards (141.1 avg./g). He helped lead the Aggies to a share of the conference title and a win at the inaugural Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl. Cohen rushed for 295 yards for three touchdowns during the nationally televised win over Alcorn State.

Leonard was named to the 2015 All-MEAC First Team, as a linebacker. A one-time MEAC Defensive Player of the Week, Leonard finished the season recording 70 total tackles, one forced fumble, one recovered fumble, two quarterback hurries, four passes deflected and two breakups. He notched two interceptions, one for a touchdown, and 13.5 tackles for a loss. Leonard was second on the team in sacks (5.0) and interceptions.

Listed below are the 2016 Preseason All-MEAC teams:

2016 MEAC Football All-Conference Preseason Teams

Offensive Player of the Year: Tarik Cohen, North Carolina A&T State
Defensive Player of the Year: Darius Leonard, South Carolina State

First-Team Offense

Pos. Name Cl. School         Hometown
QB Malcolm Bell r-Sr. North Carolina Central Richmond, Va.
RB Tarik Cohen Sr. North Carolina A&T State Bunn, N.C.
RB Michael Jones Sr. Bethune-Cookman Sarasota, Fla.
WR Twarn Mixson r-Sr. Hampton Charlotte, N.C.
WR Jawill Davis r-Jr. Bethune-Cookman Miami, Fla.
TE Ja-Quan Lumas r-Jr. Bethune-Cookman Orlando, Fla.
C Carl Jones r-Sr. North Carolina Central Nashville, Tenn.
OL Brandon Parker r-Jr. North Carolina A&T State Kannapolis, N.C.
OL* Javarius Leamon r-Sr. South Carolina State Woodruff, S.C.
OL* Trevin Huff r-Sr. Bethune-Cookman Tallahassee, Fla.
OL Desmond Cooper r-Sr. North Carolina Central Stafford, Va.

First-Team Defense

Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
DL Marquis Ragland r-Sr. North Carolina A&T State Fayetteville, N.C.
DL Angelo Keyes r-Sr. North Carolina A&T State Kinston, N.C.
DL Curtis Alexander So. Florida A&M Quincy, Fla.
DL Kevin Thompson Jr. Bethune-Cookman Baltimore, Md.
LB Darius Leonard r-Jr. South Carolina State Lake View, S.C.
LB Dayshawn Taylor r-Jr. South Carolina State Lincolnton, Ga.
LB Jeremy Miles (Thompson) r-Sr. North Carolina Central Durham, N.C.
DB Jacques Bryant So. Florida A&M Tallahassee, Fla.
DB Diquan Richardson Jr. Bethune-Cookman Alvin, S.C.
DB Phillip Henry r-Sr. South Carolina State Manning, S.C.
DB Delonta Hall r-Sr. Morgan State Fort Washington, Md.
PK Cody Jones Sr. North Carolina A&T State Gastonia, N.C.
P* Jonathan Cagle Sr. Bethune-Cookman Pensacola, Fla.
P* Christian Faber-Kinney r-Sr. Hampton Williamsburg, Va.
RS Khris Gardin Jr. North Carolina A&T State Morganton, N.C.

Second-Team Offense

Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
QB Greg Hankerson Sr. Norfolk State Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.
RB Dorrel McClain r-So. North Carolina Central Cary, N.C.
RB Orlando Johnson Sr. Morgan State Memphis, Tenn.
WR Denzel Keyes Sr. North Carolina A&T State Kinston, N.C.
WR Montavious Williams r-So. Florida A&M Tallahassee, Fla.
TE Justin Chaney Jr. Howard Hammond, La.
C Phillip Norman r-Jr. Bethune-Cookman Sebastian, Fla.
OL Toree Boyd Sr. Howard Miami, Fla.
OL Marcus Pettiford So. North Carolina A&T State Durham, N.C.
OL* Tarrance Wells Sr. North Carolina Central Oxon Hill, Md.
OL* Keonte Cash So. Florida A&M Miami, Fla.

Second-Team Defense

Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
DL Antonio Brown r-Jr. North Carolina Central Jacksonville, Fla.
DL Gregtavious Newell r-Jr. South Carolina State Columbia, S.C.
DL Chris Lee Jr. Norfolk State Woodbridge, Va.
DL* Todney Evans r-So. Bethune-Cookman Delray Beach, Fla.
DL* DeMarcus Womack Sr. Bethune-Cookman Orlando, Fla.
LB* Jalen Day r-Sr. Howard Winston Salem, N.C.
LB* Marcus Albert r-Jr. North Carolina A&T State College Park, Ga.
LB Malik Harris Jr. Delaware State Washington, D.C.
DB* William Burton Sr. Delaware State Washington Township, N.J.
DB* Zerius Lockhart r-Jr. North Carolina A&T State Auburn, Ala.
DB Craig Johnson Sr. Howard Brooklyn, N.Y.
DB* Davanta Reynolds r-So. North Carolina Central Tucker, Ga.
DB* Sandy Chapman Sr. Norfolk State Raleigh, N.C.
PK Cameron Marouf Sr. Norfolk State Woodbridge, Va.
P* Jerome Pettiway Jr. South Carolina State York, S.C.
P* Colby Blanton r-So. Florida A&M Jacksonville, Fla.
RS LaVontis Smith Sr. North Carolina Central Maben, Miss.

Third-Team Offense

Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
QB Larry Brihm, Jr. r-Jr. Bethune-Cookman Delray Beach, Fla.
RB Dondre Brown Jr. South Carolina State Varnville, S.C.
RB* Gerard Johnson Sr. Norfolk State Richmond, Va.
RB* Dwayne Garrett r-Sr. Hampton Phoenix, Ariz.
WR Frank Brown r-Jr. Bethune-Cookman Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
WR Aris Scott Sr. Delaware State Harrisburg, Pa.
TE Willie Gillus r-Jr. Morgan State Suffolk, Va.
C Darriel Mack r-Jr. North Carolina A&T State Cilo, S.C.
OL Donovan Johnson Sr. Hampton Clifton, Md.
OL Joshua Miles Jr. Morgan State Baltimore, Md.
OL Ryan Gould Jr. Hampton Clemmons, S.C.
OL Chuka Ezeuzoh So. Delaware State Wilmington, Del.

 Third-Team Defense

Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
DL Malik Hampton-Prioleau Sr. North Carolina A&T State Bossier City, La.
DL Jai Franklin Jr. Morgan State Clinton, Md.
DL* Walter Brantley So. Norfolk State Hampton, Va.
DL* Ja’Quan Smith r-Jr. North Carolina Central Miramar, Fla.
LB Marquis Smith Sr. Savannah State Prince Georges County, Md.
LB* Rashawn Barrett Sr. Delaware State Montclair, N.J.
LB* Trenton Bridges r-So. Bethune-Cookman Deland, Fla.
DB Tard McCoy r-Jr. North Carolina A&T State Delray Beach, Fla.
DB Myles Morris r-Sr. Hampton Greensboro, N.C.
DB Arthur Williams Jr. Bethune-Cookman Sebring, Fla.
DB Devondre Powell Jr. South Carolina State Miami, Fla.
PK* Uriel Hernandez So. Bethune-Cookman Homestead, Fla.
PK* Tyler Scandrett Jr. South Carolina State Barnesville, Ga.
P John Barron Sr. Savannah State Marietta, Ga.
RS Marcus Taylor So. Norfolk State Highland Springs, Va.

 *denotes tie

Courtesy: MEAC


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