Despite having eight players named to the all-conference team, Tennessee State was picked preseason fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference preseason poll released on Monday.
Running back Devon Starling, wide receiver Cam Wyche, and offensive lineman Cam Durley were named on offense while the OVC defensive team includes defensive tackle Davoan Hawkins, linebacker James Green, safety Josh Green. Antonio Zita was named to the team as an all-conference kicker.
Starling returns from his Freshman All-American honor. Starling led all freshmen nationally in rushing yards per game (92.6) and finished with 648 total yards in seven games during the spring season.
First-year head coach Eddie George will have a lot of talent to work with as he navigates his inaugural season on the sideline. While the learning curve might be steep at first, the goal for the fall and beyond is to uncover what the program needs for sustained success, said George.
“Initially I came with the idea that I was just going to be quiet and listen to see what’s needed,” George said during OVC Media Day. “What I found is that this team is resilient, they’re tough, they are hungry for success and they are hungry to learn.”
“There’s not a day I’ve woken up where I’ve said, ‘I regretted that.’ It stretches me as a person and a leader. It keeps me accountable to my ideals and my philosophy.”
Tennessee State opens the regular season on Sept. 5 versus Grambling State.