|Bethune-Cookman running back Isidore Jackson was named preseason Co-Offensive Player of The Year at MEAC Media Day on Friday. (Jacksonville.com photo)|
Over the past decade a few teams have taken turns dominating MEAC football. Since 2003, both Hampton and South Carolina State have won or shared the conference title at least three times. Heading into the 2013 season, many people seem to think Bethune-Cookman will be the next MEAC dynasty. The defending champs have won two of the last three conference titles.
On offense, BCU is paced by running back Isidore Jackson, who was voted preseason Co-Player of The Year along with Florida A&M quarterback Damien Fleming. On defense, preseason Defensive Player of The Year Lakevious Fields roams the field at linebacker while defensive end LaBrandon Richardson and defensive back Nick Addison make scoring on BCU a challenge.
Okay, who is the wise guy that picked Savannah State to finish first in the MEAC? Somebody’s trolling.
— HBCU Gameday (@HBCUGameday) July 27, 2013
Predicted Order of Finish
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js 1. Bethune-Cookman (16)-The Wildcats bring back a ton of talent. No problems with them being picked to repeat.
2. South Carolina State (2)-The Bulldogs are looking to rebound from their worst finish in over a decade.
3. North Carolina A&T -The Aggies are coming off their best season in a decade. They have a Grade A defense, but the offense must improve for them to challenge for the title.
4. North Carolina Central 260-The Eagles took a big step forward last year with a 6-5 record. If the improvement continues, they could find themselves among the MEAC elite.
5. Florida A&M -Will a new coach (Earl Holmes) and the conference’s top quarterback (Damien Fleming) be enough to restore the Rattlers to greatness?
6. Howard-The Bison finished second last season, but without Keith Pough and Flea Harrell, repeating or improving on that feat doesn’t seem likely.
7. Norfolk State (1)-Norfolk State has several players who could be amongst the best at their position in the conference. The problem is that quarterback isn’t one of those positions.
8. Delaware State-The Hornets have some talented defensive starters, but making up for the loss of quarterback Nick Elko won’t be easy.
9. Hampton (1)-The Pirates haven’t been this lowly regarded since the 1980s. If things don’t change soon, head coach Donovan Rose could be forced to walk the plank.
10. Morgan State–Speaking of coaches on the hotseat, Donald Hill-Eley has to be smelling smoke.
11. Savannah State (1) -The bar is pretty low for new head coach Earnest Wilson. Any win against a D1 opponent would be one more than the Tigers recorded all last year.
Overrated Team: South Carolina State
The Bulldogs are a traditional MEAC power, but last year the only offense that scored less points was Savannah State. They also fell in the bottom half of several MEAC defensive categories. They have some talent, including Tyler McDonald and Kentucky transfer Justin Taylor, but not enough to justify being picked over NC A&T or even NCCU.
Underrated Team: Norfolk State
Norfolk State has plenty of talent, as a glimpse of the preseason all-conference teams will tell you. The big problem last year was that the Spartans turned the ball over entirely too much, especially in the air (21 interceptions in 2012). If the quarterback position solidifies, this team could easily find itself in one of the top three spots.
Underrated Player: Davon Moore, Delaware State
Defensive back is probably the conference’s strongest position overall, so it makes sense that some deserving corner/safety would get left off the first-team. While its hard to argue against any of the guys who made it, for my money, I’m taking Davon Moore over his teammate Terrick Coston. Moore finished third in the MEAC with 97 total tackles, and broke up more passes (10 to 5) and came away with more interceptions (4 to 3) than his teammate.
|QB||Damien Fleming||Jr.||Florida A&M||Jacksonville, Fla.|
|RB||Isidore Jackson||Sr.||Bethune-Cookman||Mossy Head, Fla.|
|RB*||Malcolm Williams||Jr.||Delaware State||Reading, Pa.|
|RB*||James Owens||r-Sr.||Florida A&M||Apopka, Fla.|
|WR||Lenworth Lennon||r-Jr.||Florida A&M||Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.|
|WR||Simon Hewyard||Sr.||Savannah State||Savannah, Ga.|
|TE||Joseph Hawkins||r-Sr.||Norfolk State||Chicago, Ill.|
|C||Brandon Cunningham||Sr.||Delaware State||Lumberton, N.J.|
|OL||Alex Monroe||Sr.||Bethune-Cookman||Jacksonville, Fla.|
|OL||Kevin House||r-Jr.||Florida A&M||Jacksonville, Fla.|
|OL||Zerrie Patterson||So.||Florida A&M||Fort Pierce, Fla.|
|OL||Joshua Matthews||Sr.||Howard||Bowman, S.C.|
|DL||LeBrandon Richardson||Jr.||Bethune-Cookman||Miami, Fla.|
|DL||Damon Gresham Chisholm||So.||Howard||Covington, Ga.|
|DL||Rodney Gunter||Jr.||Delaware State||Haines, Fla.|
|DL||Javon Hargrave||So.||South Carolina State||Salisbury, N.C.|
|LB||Jarkevis Fields||Sr.||Bethune-Cookman||Sanford, Fla.|
|LB||Ernest Adjei||Sr.||Delaware State||Woodbridge, Va.|
|LB||Lynden Trail||r-Jr.||Norfolk State||Miami, Fla.|
|DB||Nick Addison||Jr.||Bethune-Cookman||Tampa, Fla.|
|DB||Julien David||Sr.||Howard||Coral Springs, Fla.|
|DB||D’Vonte Graham||Sr.||North Carolina A&T||Tallahassee, Fla.|
|DB||Terrick Colston||So.||Delaware State||Lakeland, Fla.|
|P||Nick Belcher||r-Sr.||South Carolina State||Sumter, S.C.|
|PK||Chase Varnadore||r-So.||Florida A&M||Tallahassee, Fla.|
|RS||D’Vonte Graham||Sr.||North Carolina A&T||Charlotte, N.C.|
|QB||Jordan Reid||r-Sr.||North Carolina Central||High Point, N.C.|
|RB||Aquanius Freeman||Jr.||Howard||New Orleans, La.|
|RB||Brendon Riddick||r-So.||Norfolk State||Richmond, Va.|
|WR||Eddie Poole||Grad.||Bethune-Cookman||Belle Glade, Fla.|
|WR||Derrick Demps||r-Sr.||Norfolk State||Tallahassee, Fla.|
|TE||David Wilson||Sr.||Howard||Sacramento, Calif.|
|C||Ronald Canty||r-Jr.||North Carolina A&T||Chester, S.C.|
|OL||John Smith||r-So.||Howard||Atlanta, Ga.|
|OL||Jamal Wilson||r-Sr.||Hampton||Brooklyn, N.Y.|
|OL||Williams Robinson||r-Jr.||North Carolina A&T||Clinton, Md.|
|OL||Charles Goodwin||r-Sr.||North Carolina Central||High Point, N.C.|
|DL||Tyree Hearn||Sr.||North Carolina A&T||Durham, N.C.|
|DL||George Riddick||Jr.||Norfolk State||Suffolk, Va.|
|DL||Matthew Davis||Sr.||Hampton||Chesapeake, Va.|
|DL||Demarco Bisbee||r-So.||Morgan State||Lansing, Mich.|
|LB||D’Vonte Grant||Sr.||North Carolina A&T||Charlotte, N.C.|
|LB||Justin Hughes||Jr.||South Carolina State||Virginia Beach, Va.|
|LB||Travis Crosby||Sr.||North Carolina A&T||Charlotte, N.C.|
|DB||Davon Moore||Jr.||Delaware State||Mt. Vernon, N.Y.|
|DB||Joe Rankin||Sr.||Morgan State||Germantown, Md.|
|DB||Ryan Smith||r-So.||North Carolina Central||Upper Marlboro, Md.|
|DB*||John Wilson||Sr.||Savannah State||Athens, Ga.|
|DB*||Jonathan Pillow||r-Sr.||Florida A&M||Jacksonville, Fla.|
|P||Matthew Cornellus||r-Sr.||North Carolina Central||Charlotte, N.C.|
|PK||Oleg Parent||Jr.||North Carolina Central||Lake Forest, Calif.|
|RS||James Owens||r-Sr.||Florida A&M||Apopka, Fla.|
|QB||Nico Flores||r-Sr.||Norfolk State||Miami, Fla.|
|RB||Dae-Hon Cheung||So.||Delaware State||Coatesville, Pa.|
|RB||Conley Smith||So.||Norfolk State||Chesapeake, Va.|
|WR||Tyler McDonald||Sr.||South Carolina State||Summerville, SC|
|WR||Dylan Cook||Sr.||Savannah State||Hiram, Ga.|
|TE||Kris Drummond||Jr.||Savannah State||Washington, D.C.|
|C||Doug Almendares||Sr.||Florida A&M||Miami, Fla.|
|OL||Domanic Wilson||r-Jr.||South Carolina State||Lake City, SC|
|OL||Karim Barton||Sr.||Morgan State||Los Angeles, Calif.|
|OL||E.J. Rogers||r-Jr.||Norfolk State||Alexandria, Va.|
|OL||Cameron Williams||r-Sr.||Norfolk State||Burke, Va.|
|DL||Andrew Carter||r-Jr.||South Carolina State||Hamlet, NC|
|DL||Tevin Toney||Sr.||Bethune-Cookman||Sebring, Fla.|
|DL||Micah Blount||Sr.||Savannah State||Stone Mountain, Ga.|
|DL*||Chikezie Ukeje||Sr.||Delaware State||Stanten Island, N.Y.|
|DL*||Noel Clarke Jr.||Jr.||Norfolk State||Brooklyn, N.Y.|
|LB||Christopher Robinson||r-Jr.||Morgan State||Germantown, Md.|
|LB||Joe Boyd||Sr.||Delaware State||Ft. Washington, Md.|
|LB||Brandon Denmark||Sr.||Florida A&M||Tallahassee, Fla.|
|DB||Keenan Lambert||r-Jr.||Norfolk State||Norfolk, Va.|
|DB||Nathan Ayers||Jr.||Morgan State||Baltimore, Md.|
|DB||Devontae Johnson||r-Jr.||Florida A&M||Tallahassee, Fla.|
|DB||Carvin Johnson||Sr.||Hampton||New Orleans, La.|
|PK||Nick Belcher||r-Sr.||South Carolina State||Sumter, SC|
|RS||Chris Flowers||Sr.||Morgan State||Haines City, Fla.|