Senior defensive tackle Derek Douglas was tabbed with first-team preseason All-Southern Conference honors in voting by the league's head coaches, the conference office announced at its football media day Wednesday in Spartanburg.
The coaches named a preseason offensive and defensive player of the year. Appalachian State quarterback Jamal Londry-Jackson earned offensive honors, while Samford defensive back Jaquiski Tartt and Chattanooga defensive lineman Davis Tull shared defensive accolades.
The head coaches and SoCon media also predicted the order of finish in this year's conference race. Both groups picked The Citadel to finish sixth with defending conference champion Georgia Southern as the preseason favorite.
Douglas is coming off an injury-shortened 2012 campaign in which he still ranked second on the team with eight tackles for loss and third with five sacks. Douglas missed the first four games and most of a fifth after suffering a knee injury during spring practice.
In his first start of 2012, he had three tackles behind the line of scrimmage including a sack against Chattanooga. He added sacks against Samford and Elon before turning in his top effort of the season in a win over VMI.
In that contest against the Keydets, Douglas had four tackles including a pair of sacks. He also recovered a fumble that was forced by a Mark Thomas sack and raced 21 yards for his first career touchdown. The Garland, Texas, native has a career total of 30 tackles for loss and 12 sacks entering his final collegiate season.
In 2011, Douglas' last full season, he was named first team All-SoCon by the coaches and media after ranking fifth in the conference with 14.5 tackles for loss while placing 47th in the nation with an average of 1.32 per game. He had a total of 43 tackles and added 3.5 sacks and a forced and recovered fumble in that season.
Robinson is coming off an outstanding junior year which included a 1,000-yard rushing season, earning 1,021 yards to become the first Bulldog to reach that plateau since Tory Cooper in 2007. He averaged 7.2 yards per carry, eclipsed the 100-yard mark six times and scored six touchdowns.
He ranked seventh in the SoCon and 39th in the nation with an average of 91.5 yards per game.
Robinson enters his senior season with 1,969 career rushing yards to rank 12th in school history and is fourth in the school record book with an average of 6.50 yards per carry over the past three years. The McKeesport, Pa., native has scored 15 touchdowns in his career.
Brown moved from tight end to offensive tackle shortly before the 2012 season and started all 11 games at his new position a year ago. He recorded 22 knockdown blocks, including a season-high five in a win vs. Elon, and made four knockdown blocks in a win vs. VMI.
Smith had a breakout year in 2012 in his first season as the starting inside linebacker and played an integral role in the team's defensive success. Smith enters his junior campaign with career totals of 116 tackles and one interception.
Smith was the lone linebacker to start all 11 contests in 2012 and led the team in tackles with 91. He posted a career game in a win vs. Appalachian State, making seven tackles, returning a blocked punt for a touchdown and hauling in his first career interception, earning him SoCon Defensive and Student-Athlete of the Week awards.
McCladdie emerged as one of the best cornerbacks in the conference in his second full season as the starter, earning a spot on the second team media all-conference squad. In his three seasons he has recorded 104 tackles, eight tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, six interceptions and seven pass breakups
A season ago, McCladdie led the team in forced fumbles with three, interceptions with two. He forced two fumbles to go along with five tackles and one tackle for loss in a win over third-ranked Georgia Southern.
In addition to picking Georgia Southern first and the Bulldogs sixth, the coaches voted Appalachian State second and Chattanooga third while the media had Wofford second and the Mountaineers third.
Georgia Southern and Appalachian State are both ineligible for the SoCon title and NCAA playoff berths since both schools will be moving to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2014.
The middle of the coaches poll placed Samford fourth and Wofford fifth, while the media chose Chattanooga and Samford fourth and fifth, respectively. Furman, Elon and Western Carolina rounded out the bottom three in both polls.
The Citadel opens the 2013 season on Saturday, Aug. 31 when Charleston Southern visits Johnson Hagood Stadium for a 6 p.m. kickoff. The Bulldogs begin SoCon play the following Saturday when they host Wofford at 6 p.m. in a game that will be shown nationally on ESPN3.