Mountaineer football is back, and hoping to return to championship form during the 2012 season.
Appalachian State was picked to finish second place in the Southern Conference Coaches’ Poll. The Mountaineers received two first place votes from the nine coaches.
The remaining seven votes went to Georgia Southern, as many coaches feel that they will be the favorite to capture the SoCon crown.
In the media poll, Georgia Southern remained at the top with 25 first place votes. However, media voters felt like Wofford would be the second best team this season, garnering four first place votes. App received just one first place vote in the media pole, placing them third overall.
The remaining six teams were picked in the same spots in both polls. Chattanooga is predicted to finish fourth, followed by Furman, Samford, Elon, The Citadel, and Western Carolina.
Individually, the Mountaineers led all SoCon teams with 10 players picked to be preseason All-SoCon performers.
Junior quarterback Jamal Jackson was chosen as the first-team QB. Jackson finished last season as the starting quarterback, getting the start in the final seven games of the season after replacing the ineffective DeAndre Presley. In those seven starts, Jackson tallied 1,875 passing yards with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Jackson also gained 216 rushing yards and accounted for three touchdowns on the ground, giving him more than 2,000 all-purpose yards in just those seven games.
Joining him on the All-SoCon First Team were senior linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough and senior defensive back Demetrius McCray. Kimbrough ranked fifth in the SoCon last year with 105 tackles, eighth in the league with 12 tackles for loss and added four quarterback sacks. McCray led the SoCon with five interceptions last season and ranked second in the conference with 14 total passes defended.
Along with those three athletes on the first team, the Mountaineers saw seven players earn spots on the preseason All-SoCon Second Team. Sophomore offensive lineman Kendall Lamm and junior wideouts Tony Washington and Andrew Peacock received the honor on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, sophomore defensive lineman Ronald Blair was on the list, as were senior linebacker Brandon Grier, senior defensive back Troy Sanders and senior punter Sam Martin.
App State opens the 2012 season at East Carolina on September 1.