Bucs selected fourth in 2021 Big South Football Preseason Poll
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BigSouthSports.com) - The Charleston Southern football team was voted fourth in the 2021 Big South Preseason Football Poll, as announced Tuesday during the conference’s annual Media Day.
Voted on by the head coaches and media members, the Bucs were one of three programs to receive a first-place vote and earned the fourth-place prediction. CSU received a first-place vote, three third-place votes, five fourth-place votes, seven fifth-place votes, and two sixth-place selections on their way to garnering 85 total points.
Monmouth received 16 first-place votes and was tabbed the preseason favorite, while Kennesaw State picked up the final first-place selection on their way to finishing second in the poll. Big South newcomer North Carolina A&T was selected third, followed by CSU and Campbell to wrap up the top-five.
North Alabama is not included in the poll due to not being eligible for the Big South Championship and not counting as a conference opponent this season.
CSU enters the third season under Head Coach Autry Denson and comes into the year on a two-game winning streak after topping Robert Morris and Gardner-Webb in back-to-back games to wrap up the shortened spring season.
The Bucs open the 2021 football season on the road on September 11 at The Citadel, before returning home the following week to host Monmouth on September 18 to start Big South play at Buccaneer Field.
2021 Preseason Poll (First-Place Votes)
1. Monmouth (16)
2. Kennesaw State (1)
3. North Carolina A&T
4. Charleston Southern (1)
8. Robert Morris
Three Charleston Southern football players were recognized on the 2021 Big South Football Preseason All-Conference team, announced Tuesday during Big South Football Media Day.
Defensive lineman Shaundre Mims and defensive back Cody Cline both earned preseason First Team recognition, while long snapper Ethan Ray was recognized on the Honorable Mention squad.
Mims earns the recognition for the second consecutive season as the Vanceboro, N.C. native has become a wrecking ball along the defensive line for the Buccaneers. The senior defensive tackle paced the Bucs with a team-high 5.5 tackles and added 1.5 sacks over CSU’s four games this spring.
Mims opened the shortened spring season with a career-high 12 tackles and added 3.0 tackles for loss in the opener against Kennesaw State in a signature effort. Over the course of the 2021 spring season he recorded at least one tackle for loss per game and finished in the top-35 in FCS in tackles for loss.
Cline also earned preseason All-Conference recognition for the second consecutive season. The Bucs’ leading tackler in the 2021 spring season, Cline also added a pair of interceptions as the HERO Sports All-American led the Bucs’ defensive efforts on the year.
Cline posted a career-high 14 tackles with a tackle for loss in CSU’s opener against Kennesaw State. He added a tackle for loss against Monmouth, before really hitting his stride over the final two games. He posted a combined 21 tackles over the final two games of the season and two interceptions. He was one of two Big South players to average double-digit tackles per game on the year.
Ray is also no stranger to preseason All-Conference honors as the long snapper was recognized for third time in his collegiate career. A 2019 STATS FCS All-American at the position, Ray is a two-time team captain and leads the specialist unit that has featured a trio of All-Conference selections and two All-American selections in the last two seasons.
The Buccaneers open up the 2021 season on the road at The Citadel on September 11. CSU’s 2021 home opener is set for September 18 at Buccaneer Field as the Bucs welcome Monmouth for a 6 p.m. kickoff.