Head coach Danny Rocco sits down to talk with new Flames radio play-by-play broadcaster Alan York during a breakout session at the 2010 Big South Football Media Day.
For the fourth year in a row, Liberty was tabbed the preseason favorite to take home the football title at the end of the season in November, while Mike Brown was named the Big South Preseason Offensive Player of the Year at the 2010 Big South Football Media Day. The annual kickoff event to the collegiate football season held Thursday at the Renaissance Suites had extra buzz, as the 2010 campaign will be the first where the victor of the league will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA FCS Playoffs. Liberty received 13 out of 15 first-place votes in the annual poll voted upon by the league's head coaches and a select media panel. Stony Brook and Charleston Southern received the other two first-place nods. The Flames, who won the league's title outright in 2007 and 2008, shared the conference championship with Stony Brook in 2009 and have posted a 14-1 league record during the span, finished first in the overall voting with 103 points. Stony Brook, who also finished with a 5-1 Big South record last year, was behind Liberty with 81 points. Coastal Carolina (68 points) and Charleston Southern (65 points) ranked third and fourth in the poll, while Gardner-Webb was fifth with 54 points. Rounding out the annual preseason league ranking was VMI, with 31 points, and Presbyterian College, with 18 points. Individually, Liberty and Gardner-Webb were the two most honored programs, each garnering eight selections on the preseason all-conference team. Brown was named the league's Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Gardner-Webb linebacker Marty Patterson was named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Brown received nine first-place votes and 21 votes overall for the preseason accolade. He became the first player in conference history to be named Big South Offensive Player of the year as a sophomore after finishing second in the league with 11 total touchdowns (nine rushing and two receiving) in 2009. Brown ranked second on the squad in rushing yards (442) and led the team with 698 receiving yards on 60 receptions. Additionally, the returning All-America completed 48-of-68 passing attempts for 427 yards and four touchdowns. His 142.75 passing efficiency rating was the fourth-best season rating by any quarterback in program history. Patterson, a senior preseason Sports Network All-American, finished with 13 of 15 first-place votes after a career season in 2009. He finished the year with 110 tackles and 14 tackles for a loss to lead the league in both categories. Brown and seven other Flames were named to the preseason all-conference listing. Joining Brown on the squad were fellow offensive players Chris Summers (wide receiver) and Alex Stadler (offensive line). Liberty dominated the defensive preseason listing, with defensive lineman Asa Chapman, linebacker Doncel Bolt and defensive backs Brent Vinson and KaJuan Lee selected. Returning All-American kicker Matt Bevins, who led the nation in field goals in 2009 (22) and ranked No. 3 nationally in scoring (9.73), completed Liberty's eight preseason selections. Liberty is slated to open its August training camp on Aug. 4 with an afternoon workout without pads. The Flames will officially kick off the 2010 schedule on Sept. 4. Liberty will welcome St. Francis, Pa., to a newly renovated Williams Stadium.
2010 Big South Football Preseason All-Conference Team
Offense QB - Mike Brown – Liberty (R-Jr., Charlottesville, Va.) RB - Edwin Gowins – Stony Brook (Jr., Bellport, N.Y.) RB - Patrick Hall – Gardner-Webb (Sr., Gastonia, N.C.) WR - Gerald Stevenson – Charleston Southern (Sr., Naples, Fla.) WR - James Perry III – Gardner-Webb (R-Jr., Greensboro, N.C.) WR - Chris Summers – Liberty (R-Jr., Jacksonville, Fla.) TE - David Duran – Coastal Carolina (R-Jr., Marietta, Ga.) OL - Corey O'Daniel – Gardner-Webb (Sr., Louisville, Ky.) OL - Paul Fenaroli – Stony Brook (Sr., Monroe, Conn.) OL - Alex Stadler – Liberty (R-Sr., Bealeton, Va.) OL - Jordan Lancaster – Charleston Southern (R-Sr., Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.) OL - Jamie Dunaway – Gardner-Webb (So., Duncan, S.C.)
Defense DL - Joel Walton – Charleston Southern (Sr., Long Island, N.Y.) DL - Asa Chapman – Liberty (Jr., Orange, Va.) DL - Josh Wine – VMI (Sr., Fredericksburg, Va.) DL - Quinton Davis – Coastal Carolina (R-So., Peachtree City, Ga.) LB - Marty Patterson – Gardner-Webb (Sr., Mt. Airy, Ga.) LB - Jeffery Williams – Gardner-Webb (Sr., Frisco City, Ala.) LB - Doncel Bolt – Liberty (Sr., Long Beach, Calif.) LB - Emilio Calvin – VMI (R-Jr., Woodbridge, Va.) DB - Josh Norman – Coastal Carolina (Jr., Greenwood, S.C.) DB - Cedric McGowan – Gardner-Webb (R-Sr., Greer, S.C.) DB - Brent Vinson – Liberty (So., Charlotte, N.C.) DB - KaJuan Lee (tie) – Liberty (R-Jr., Newport News, Va.) DB - Chris Kuzdale (tie) – Charleston Southern (Jr., Tampa, Fla.)
Special Teams PK - Matt Bevins – Liberty (Jr., Newport News, Va.) P - Marc Ray – VMI (R-So., Greenville, Va.) LS - Daniel Bonifas – Coastal Carolina (R-Sr., Irmo, S.C.) KR - Tyson Petty – Gardner-Webb (Sr., Gaffney, S.C.) PR - Gerald Stevenson – Charleston Southern (Sr., Naples, Fla.)
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Mike Brown, QB, R-Jr., Liberty
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Marty Patterson, LB, Sr., Gardner-Webb
2010 Preseason Poll (First-Place Votes) 1. Liberty (13) – 103 points 2. Stony Brook (1) – 81 points 3. Coastal Carolina – 68 points 4. Charleston Southern (1) – 65 points 5. Gardner-Webb – 54 points 6. VMI – 31 points 7. Presbyterian - 18 – points
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