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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Eastern Kentucky University football team was picked to finish fourth in the Ohio Valley Conference this fall in a preseason poll conducted by the OVC coaches and sports information directors. The announcement was made Monday at the OVC football media day event.

The Colonels, who have won a record 21 OVC titles, tallied 82 points in the poll. Since Dean Hood took over as EKU’s head coach in 2008, the Colonels have won two OVC championships (2008, 2011) and 33 league games.

Jacksonville State picked up 10 of the 18 first-place votes and was tabbed as the OVC preseason favorite. The Gamecocks, who were also the preseason favorites in 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2011, totaled 118 points to out-distance two-time defending champion Eastern Illinois in the vote. The Panthers piled up four first-place votes and 110 total points in being picked second.

Eastern Kentucky hosts both league favorites this season – Jacksonville State on Nov. 8 and Eastern Illinois on Oct. 11.

Senior placekicker Andrew Lloyd was the lone EKU representative on the preseason All-OVC team. Lloyd, a senior from Winchester, Virginia, made 8-of-10 field goals last year in his first season of action with the Colonels. He finished the year on a strong note, making his last six field goal attempts including a season-best 49-yarder in the finale at Murray State. Lloyd registered 15 touchbacks on kick-offs in 2013, the most by an EKU kicker in six years under head coach Dean Hood.

The Colonels return six starters on each side of the ball from a team that finished 6-6 in 2013.

Eastern Kentucky begins the 2014 fall season with a Thursday night road game at Robert Morris on Aug. 28. EKU’s home opener is slated for Sept. 13 against Morehead State.

Fans can reserve 2014 season tickets by contacting the EKU athletics ticket office at 859-622-2122.

2014 Preseason All-OVC Football Team
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: DaMarcus James (RB), Jacksonville State
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Anthony Bass (DL), Tennessee State

OFFENSE
QB – Michael German, Tennessee State
QB – Eli Jenkins, Jacksonville State
RB – DaMarcus James, Jacksonville State
RB – Shepard Little, Eastern Illinois
WR – Adam Drake, Eastern Illinois
WR – Josh Barge, Jacksonville State
WR – Paul McRoberts, Southeast Missouri
TE – Jeff LePak, Eastern Illinois
C – Max Holcombe, Jacksonville State
OG – Collin Seibert, Eastern Illinois
OG – Blake Burks, Jacksonville State
OT – Charles Sweeton, UT Martin
OT – Robert Myers, Tennessee State

DEFENSE
DL – Anthony Bass, Tennessee State
DL – Dino Fanti, Eastern Illinois
DL – Caleb Lawrence, Jacksonville State
DL – Chris Landrum, Jacksonville State
LB – Nick Thrasher, Tennessee State
LB – Tony Bell, UT Martin
LB – Robert Haynes, Eastern Illinois
LB – Tra’Darius Goff, Tennessee Tech
DB – Daniel Fitzpatrick, Tennessee State
DB – Jourdan Wickliffe, Eastern Illinois
DB – Marty Jones, Tennessee Tech
DB – De’Ante Saunders, Tennessee State

SPECIALISTS
K – Andrew Lloyd, Eastern Kentucky
P – Hamish MacInnes, Jacksonville State
RS – Shepard Little, Eastern Illinois