Tennessee State was one of five teams that received at least one first-place vote in the Ohio Valley Conference’s preseason rankings, the conference office announced Monday.
The Tigers, in their first year under coach Rod Reed, ultimately were picked to finish fifth by a panel of conference coaches and sports information directors. Jacksonville State was picked first on 11 of the 18 ballots and was installed as the preseason favorite.
TSU also placed two players on the All-OVC preseason team.
Senior cornerback Eugene Clifford and junior lineman Donte’e Nicholls each were named to the first team defense. Both were key players on a unit that finished third in the conference in total defense last fall when Reed was defensive coordinator.
2010 OVC Predicted Order of Finish
1. Jacksonville State (11 first-place votes) 120
2. Eastern Illinois (4) 114
3. Eastern Kentucky (1) 102
4. Tennessee Tech (1) 78
5. Tennessee State (1) 70
6. UT Martin 59
7. Austin Peay 38
Southeast Missouri 38
9. Murray State 29