VIDEO: Mike Turner Interview
ROCK HILL, S.C. - Carson-Newman has placed seven players in eight spots on the preseason All-SAC teams. The Eagles saw three players lauded with first team status, while five got spots on the second team.
Lonnie Williams (Philadelphia, Pa.) was honored twice, both at receiver and return specialist on the second team. Offensive lineman Jordan Seal (Morristown, Tenn.), defensive lineman Montel Presley (Bushnell, Fla.) and longsnapper Dawson Campbell (Greenville, S.C.) rounded out the second team selections.
Wimbush piled up 941 yards rushing and nine touchdowns to lead the Eagles' veer-option attack in 2016. The then-sophomore tallied four 100-yard rushing performances on the year, including a career best 148 yards in the opener against Humboldt State. Wimbush closed the season with three straight 100-yard games against Limestone (10/29), North Greenville (11/5) and Tusculum (11/12).
He tallied multi-TD efforts against Catawba (9/17), Mars Hill (9/24) and Limestone. Wimbush was also prolific through the air, catching 20 passes for 257 yards and a score. He was the Eagles third leading receiver. He caught his only touchdown pass of the season against North Greenville. He also completed 2-of-3 passes for 98 yards, including a 75-yarder for a score agaisnt Newberry. Wimbush made 11 plays of 20 yards or longer, the second most on the team.
King averaged 43.4 yards per punt in his first year in an Eagle jersey. The junior transfer ranked second in the SAC with that number. He set a school record with an 82-yard kick against North Greenville. He also had a 73-yard punt against Limestone which tied Dallas Cowboys punter Chris Jones for the second longest punt in C-N history. King had 12 kicks of 50 yards or longer on the year. He was named second team All-South Atlantic Conference following the season.
Bembry was hurt last year, but earned first team honors on the back of a stellar freshman season from 2015. Bembry started all 12 games for Carson-Newman as a defensive tackle. He produced 33 tackles in his freshman season with 13 stops behind the line of scrimmage and 3.5 sacks. His 13 tackles for loss led the team and were third in the South Atlantic Conference. His 3.5 tackles for loss against Limestone (10/31) were a season high both for Bembry as an individual and Carson-Newman as a team. He also had three tackles for loss against Catawba (9/19). He turned in a career high five stops against Limestone.
Seal quickly established himself as a force on the Carson-Newman offensive line at center. Appeared in 10 games with starts in seven to close his freshman season. Seal tallied a whopping 13 knockdowns in his seven starts, the second most on the team overall, but the most knockdowns per game on the team. He matched single-game school record with a four-knockdown effort against Limestone (10/29).
Campbell started all 11 games for the Eagles as longsnapper. Didn't have a field goal or PAT attempt blocked on the year.
Presley started the first eight games of his career before groin injuries sidelined the freshman for the rest of his opening campaign at Mossy Creek. Presley made 33 tackles on the defensive line with three tackles for loss. His most impressive outing came against Lenoir-Rhyne (10/1) when the nose guard powered his way to 11 tackles. He had a stop behind the line of scrimmage in four of the first five games he played. He blocked a field foal against Mars Hill (9/24). He had more than five tackles against Catawba (9/17) and Wingate (10/22).
The Eagles' leading receiving in 2016, Williams snagged 513 yards worth of passes off 31 catches. He averaged 46.6 yards per game and 16.5 yards per catch. In spite of being the Eagles' number one receiving, Williams never found the end zone. Williams had just the third 500-yard receiving season for Carson-Newman in the last decade, joining TraShaun Ward and Reggie Hubbard. Williams had back-to-back 100-yard receiving efforts, the first in his career, against Catawba (9/17) and Mars Hill (9/24). He caught a season high five passes against Humboldt Stae (9/1) and against the Indians. Williams' season long catch of 60 yards came against the Lions. He also returned 23 kicks for 493 yards, with a season-long 48 yarder coming against Wingate.
All the Eagles preseason All-SAC selections will be on display when C-N takes the field Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. against Pikeville. Pregame coverage for the contest starts at 6 p.m. on the Eagle Sports Network with the AEC Tailgate Show on Joy 620 (WRJZ-AM, Knoxville), Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.
2017 South Atlantic Conference First and Second Team Preseason All-Conference
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
QB – Ivan Corbin, Limestone
RB – Lawrence Pittman, Wingate
RB – Blake Hayes, Wingate
RB – Antonio Wimbush, Carson-Newman
WR – Markell Castle, Newberry
WR – Craig Rucker, Mars Hill
WR – Sam Mobley, Catawba
OL – Bryce King, Mars Hill
OL – Daniel Owens, Wingate
OL – Cabell Cantrell, Wingate
OL – Quinzavious Sands, Catawba
OL – Dakota Mozingo, Newberry
TE – Baptiste Staggers, Newberry
PK – Brennan Lambert, Catawba
LS – Ian O'Grady, Tusculum
RS – Jay Boyd, Tusculum
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
QB – Reid Carlton, Catawba
RB – Eamon Smart, Catawba
RB – Nelson Brown, Lenoir-Rhyne
RB – Tony Belle, Tusculum
WR – Lonnie Williams, Carson-Newman
WR – D'Anta Fleming, Limestone
WR – Keshaun Taylor, Mars Hill
OL – Jordan Seal, Carson-Newman
OL – Tyler Anderson, Newberry
OL – Austin Turner, Newberry
OL – Keveon Broadwater, Tusculum
OL – Austin May, Wingate
TE – Kedar Bryant, Mars Hill AND Jake Jensen, Wingate (TIE)
PK – Shea Rodgers, Newberry
RS – Lonnie Willams, Carson-Newman
LS – Dawson Campbell, Carson-Newman
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DL – Brian Bembry, Carson-Newman
DL – Jordan Hemingway, Catawba
DL – Josh Parker, Newberry
DL – Jamarcus Henderson, Newberry
LB – Kyle Kitchens, Catawba
LB – Will Elm, Newberry
LB – Joe Blue, Newberry
LB – Trey Evans, Catawba
DB – Cris Page, Catawba
DB – Jay Boyd, Tusculum
DB – Joshua Simmons, Limestone
DB – Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne
P – Jonathan King, Carson-Newman
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DL – Montel Presley, Carson-Newman
DL – Trevor Bembry, Catawba
DL – Britt Hastey, Tusculum
DL – Colton Strickland, Tusculum
LB – Zack Singleton, Wingate
LB – Michael Peppers, Catawba
LB – Raymond Hall, Limestone
LB - Jerjuan Edwards, Mars Hill
DB – Kameron Johnson, Wingate
DB – Jeremy Addison, Catawba
DB – Marcus Kincaid, Lenoir-Rhyne
DB – PJ Brown, Limestone
P – Hunter Cantrell, Tusculum