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Troy Tabbed to Finish Fifth in Sun Belt Conference

NEW ORLEANS – Four Troy Trojans were named to the Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference Football Team, which was released by the league office Monday morning in conjunction with Sun Belt Media Day at the New Orleans Marriott. The league also announced the preseason coaches’ poll which tabbed the Trojans to finish fifth.

The Trojans had three all-conference selections on the defensive side of the ball led by senior safety Brynden Trawick who led the Sun Belt in tackles last season. High school teammates Tony Davis and Kanorris Davis – both seniors – also represented the Trojan defense. Junior Eric Thomas, who led the Sun Belt with nine touchdown catches in 2011, was one of three wide receivers named to the all-conference team.

Troy has won a share of five of the past six Sun Belt Conference titles and is the only school to represent the league in five bowl games. Troy has 11 more Sun Belt victories than any other school in the league since the Trojans joined the Sun Belt in 2004. The Trojans also have a Sun Belt leading 84 all-conference selections and 38 first team all-conference selections over that same time period.

Trawick, who was named to the Thorpe Award Watch List last week, finished 20th in the NCAA with 123 tackles in his first season with the Trojans in 2011. The Marietta, Ga., native ranked sixth in the NCAA with 75 solo tackles and finished 16th nationally averaging 10.2 tackles per game. Trawick recorded double-digit tackles in six of Troy's 12 games on the season, including a season-high 20 tackles at Western Kentucky.

Tony Davis tallied 34 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 6.0 tackles for loss last season. The senior from Perry, Ga., is a versatile player for the Trojans who can play both tackle and end. Davis returned a fumble 29 yards for a touchdown last season at FIU.

Kanorris Davis finished the 2011 season with 60 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack over 11 games. The Perry, Ga., native recorded 11 tackles in back-to-back contests against Navy and North Texas, while recording eight tackles at Arkansas. Named to the 2011 Preseason Pony Express Award Watch List, Davis forced a pair of fumbles and had four or more tackles in eight different games.

Thomas led the Trojans and ranked fourth in the Sun Belt with 875 receiving yards and 67 receptions. The Shreveport, La., native finished third in the league with 5.6 receptions per game and fourth with 72.9 receiving yards per contest. Thomas led the Trojans in receiving in 10 of 12 games on the year, had a catch of 30 or more yards in seven different games and caught a touchdown pass in six different contests.

FIU received five first-place votes and was picked as the preseason favorite to win the league by the Sun Belt’s 10 head coaches. Defending champion Arkansas State was picked second followed by Louisiana-Lafayette, Western Kentucky, Troy, ULM, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Florida Atlantic and South Alabama. Arkansas State quarterback Ryan Aplin was named the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and FIU defensive lineman Tourek Williams was named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

Troy opens the 2012 season on Sept. 1 at in-state rival UAB. The game is scheduled to kick off at 11 a.m. in Legion Field and will be televised live on Fox College Sports.

Season tickets for Troy’s record six home games can be purchased by calling 1-877-878-WINS (9467), by logging on to TroyTrojans.com, or in person at the Troy ticket office in the Tine Davis Fieldhouse.

2012 Preseason All-Sun Belt Team

As voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches and selected media members.

Offense

Ryan Aplin (Arkansas State, Sr., QB)

Kedrick Rhodes (FIU, Jr., RB)

Alonzo Harris (Louisiana-Lafayette, So., RB)

Josh Jarboe (Arkansas State, Sr., WR)

Javone Lawson (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., WR)

Eric Thomas (Troy, Jr., WR)

Jack Doyle (Western Kentucky, Sr., TE)

Zack McKnight (Arkansas State, Sr., OL)

Rupert Bryan (FIU, Sr., OL)

Caylin Hauptmann (FIU, Sr., OL)

Leonardo Bates (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., OL)

Cyril Lemon (North Texas, So., OL)

Defense

Isame Faciane (FIU, Jr., DL)

Tourek Williams (FIU, Sr., DL)

Tony Davis (Troy, Sr., DL)

Quanterus Smith (Western Kentucky, Sr., DL)

Winston Fraser (FIU, r-Sr., LB)

Kanorris Davis (Troy, Sr., LB)

Andrew Jackson (Western Kentucky, Jr., LB)

Don Jones (Arkansas State, Sr., DB)

Jonathan Cyprien (FIU, Sr., DB)

Melvin White (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., DB)

Brynden Trawick (Troy, Sr., DB)

Special Teams

Brett Baer (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr. PK)

Will Atterberry (North Texas, Sr., P)

John Evans (Western Kentucky, So., Return Specialist)

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year

Ryan Aplin (Arkansas State, Sr., QB)

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

Tourek Williams (FIU, Sr., DL)

2012 Preseason Sun Belt Poll

As voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches (First place votes in parentheses.)

School Points

1. FIU 92 (5)

2. Arkansas State 85 (2)

3. Louisiana-Lafayette 81 (2)

4. Western Kentucky 70 (1)

5. Troy 60

6. ULM 47

7. Middle Tennessee 42

8. North Texas 36

9. Florida Atlantic 23

10. South Alabama 14


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