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    June 22, 2022 Lynchburg, Va. RSS |

    Preseason football honors are starting to roll in with the 2022 season set to kick off in less than three months, including the Phil Steele 2022 Preseason All-Independent Teams.

    The Flames had eight players earn nine spots on the Preseason All-Independent Teams, including four offensive players, three defensive standouts and two special team selections.

    Liberty’s first-team honors included: Dae Dae Hunter (RB), Demario Douglas (WR), Brendan Schlittler (OG), TreShaun Clark (DE), Kendy Charles (DT) and Austin Mock (LS).

    The Flames’ second-team selections included: Caleb Snead (WR), Javon Scruggs (S) and Douglas (PR).

    BYU led the seven FBS independent programs with 15 All-Independent Team selections (eight first team, seven second team).

    Notre Dame had 13 selections (eight first team, five second team), followed by Liberty (six first team, three second team) and Army’s (five first team, four second team) nine selections.

    New Mexico State (one first team, four second team) and UMass (one first team, four second team) each had five players honored. UConn rounded out the 60-player All-Independent Teams with four selections (one first team, three second team).

    Hunter was a part of the Flames’ 2022 signing class, transferring to Liberty from Hawaii during the offseason. During two seasons at Hawaii, the running back rushed for 834 yards and five touchdowns in 19 games played.

    Douglas finished the 2021 season as Liberty’s leading receiver with 52 receptions for 701 yards and six touchdowns. The rising redshirt sophomore also ranked No. 5 in the country, last season, in punt returns for a touchdown (1) and No. 33 in average punt return yards (6.8).

    Schlittler is Liberty’s second most experienced returning offensive linemen. The redshirt junior has played in 37 career games and started 22 games at right guard. Last year, Schlittler was part of an offensive line that helped Liberty rank No. 25 in the country in scoring offense (33.6 points per game).

    Snead is the second Liberty offseason transfer to make the list for the Flames. The grad transfer finished his three years at Campbell with 2,431 career receiving yards on 147 receptions and 25 touchdowns.

    Clark ended the 2021 season ranked second on Liberty’s team with 10.0 tackles for a loss (42 yards), while adding 44 total tackles (24 solo, 20 assisted). The defensive end is Liberty’s most experienced defensive linemen, returning to the Mountain with 31 career starts.

    A third of Charles’ 21 tackles (11 solo, 10 assisted) in 2021 were for negative yardage – 7.0 tackles for a loss (40 yards) and 5.0 sacks (34 yards). As a team, Liberty finished the year ranked No. 24 in the country in scoring defense (21.5 points allowed per game).

    Scruggs returns for one final season to lead Liberty’s overall defensive efforts. The safety has played in 47 career games as a Flame (34 starts), allowing him to tally 195 career tackles (112 solo, 83 assisted), 11 pass breakups, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

    Mock has anchored Liberty’s special teams units for four seasons, having started 49 consecutive games as the Flames’ long snapper.

    Liberty is just one of five FBS teams in the country who have won a bowl game each of the last three seasons, joining Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Louisiana.

    The Flames capped off an 8-5 season in 2021 with a convincing 56-20 win over Eastern Michigan in the LendingTree Bowl on a nationally televised game on ESPN in Mobile, Ala., on Dec. 18.

    Liberty, in its third year of full FBS eligibility, earned its third straight bowl victory. The Flames, who also won the FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl in 2019 and 2020, join Appalachian State (2015-20) as the only teams to win bowl games in each of their first three years after transitioning to FBS from FCS.

    Phil Steele 2022 Preseason All-Independent Team

    First Team
    RB – Dae Dae Hunter (R-So.)
    WR – Demario Douglas (R-So.)
    OG – Brendan Schlittler (R-Jr.)
    DE – TreShaun Clark (Jr.)
    DT – Kendy Charles (R-So.)
    LS – Austin Mock (R-Sr.)

    Second Team
    WR – Caleb Snead (R-Sr.)
    S – Javon Scruggs (Sr.)
    PR – Demario Douglas (R-So.)