Senior defensive end Justin Oxendine and senior inside linebacker Carl Robinson were tabbed with first-team 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 also named a preseason offensive and defensive player of the year, and quarterback Jacob Huesman and defensive lineman Davis Tull gave Chattanooga a sweep of those 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 Chattanooga as the preseason favorite.
Oxendine is coming off a huge season in 2013 which culminated in the defensive lineman earning spots on the media all-conference first team and coaches second team. Robinson joined Oxendine on the coaches’ second team.
Oxendine started all 12 games and made 46 tackles last season while tying for fourth in the SoCon with 4.5 sacks and tying for fifth with 11.5 tackles for loss. Robinson played and started in 11 games before injuring his knee before the season finale, recording 92 tackles and finishing tied for seventh in the conference averaging 8.4 per contest.
The Mobile, Ala., native, enters his final season with career totals of 188 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, five passes defended, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
“It’s an honor to be named to the preseason all-conference team, and it is even more motivation to go out there and lead the team the best that I can,” said Robinson. “I am feeling 100 percent coming into the season, and I have a lot to show in my final year.”
In addition to picking Chattanooga first and the Bulldogs sixth, the media voted Furman second while the coaches poll had Furman and Samford tied for second.
Both polls picked Wofford to finish fourth and Western Carolina fifth. SoCon newcomers Mercer and VMI finished tied for seventh in the coaches’ poll while Mercer edged VMI in the media ballot.
The Bulldogs open fall camp on Aug. 4 and begin the 2014 season on Aug. 30 against nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina at Johnson Hagood Stadium at 6 pm.
Season and individual game tickets are still available and can be purchased at etix.comor by phone at 843-953-DOGS.