[OVC Media Day] Tigers Selected 3rd in Preseason Polls

Fourth-year head coach Rod Reed has helped his alma mater improve in each of his first three seasons at Tennessee State. Last year the Tigers started the season 7-0 and rose to as high as 17th in the national rankings before losing an overtime game at Jacksonville State. The team finished the season 8-3 overall, marking just the third eight-win campaign for the program over the last 13 years. Reed, a linebacker while playing at TSU, will have another strong defensive unit this season after his team led the OVC in total defense (361.64 yards/game) last year. All 11 starters return from last season including Preseason OVC Defensive Player of the Year Steven Godbolt III. The junior cornerback ranked first nationally in interceptions/game (0.60), hauling in six picks to go along with 45 tackles, six pass breakups and two forced fumbles in 10 games last year. Three other TSU defensive players were named preseason All-OVC, including senior lineman Antonio Harper, junior linebacker Nick Thrasher and junior defensive back Daniel Fitzpatrick. Thrasher led the team in tackles (105) and tackles-for-loss (9.0) last season while Harper was second in sacks (3.5) and Fitzpatrick was first in pass breakups (8) and second in tackles (61). Among the returning offensive players is All-American tight end A.C. Leonard, who had 51 catches for 733 yards last season, and preseason All-OVC offensive linemen Demetrius Rhaney and Kadeem Edwards.

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2013 OVC Preseason Football Predicted Order of Finish
1.  Eastern Illinois (12 first-place votes) – 122 points
2.  Eastern Kentucky (4) – 114
3. Tennessee State (2) – 90
4. Jacksonville State – 87
5. UT Martin – 78
6. Murray State – 53
Tennessee Tech – 53
8. Southeast Missouri – 35
9. Austin Peay – 16

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