SEVEN UTM FOOTBALL PLAYERS NAMED TO COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS PRESEASON ALL-OVC TEAM
August 4, 2014
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MARTIN, Tenn. – A total of seven University of Tennessee at Martin football players were recognized as Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference honorees by College Sports Madness.
Tony Bell was not only named the OVC Defensive Player of the Year by College Sports Madness but the National Defensive Player of the Year as well. He was joined on the first team by Charles Sweeton and Jackson Redditt. Matt Stewart, Matt Axline and James Satterfield earned second team honors while Ryan Isom garnered third team accolades.
Already named a Preseason All-American by five different media outlets, the 6-1, 200-pound Bell appears primed for a big senior season in 2014. The linebacker out of Memphis led the OVC and ranked seventh nationally in sacks (10.5) last season while also leading the league with 15 tackles for loss. He also added 80 tackles (10th in the OVC) while earning National Defensive Player of the Week awards on two separate occasions.
Sweeton was named a Preseason All-OVC selection last month by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. The 6-5, 291-pound left tackle out of Lawrenceburg has started in all 34 games of his collegiate career and has helped establish the Skyhawk offensive line as one of the best in the league, as UT Martin led the OVC in least sacks allowed (19) in 2013.
A 6-2, 190-pound kicker from Mt. Juliet, Redditt ranked first in the OVC in PAT kicking percentage (1,000, 33-for-33) while ranking third in field goals (12) and fourth in scoring for kickers (5.8 points per game). His best career game came at Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 16 when he split the uprights on three field goals – including a career-long 51-yarder – in a 16-7 Skyhawk victory.
Stewart played in all 12 games and logged three starts in 2013. The 6-4, 255-pound tight end out of Mt. Juliet was mainly used as a run blocker but also showed the ability to become a reliable target, hauling in four catches for 33 yards. He caught three passes in UT Martin’s 28-17 win at Tennessee Tech on Oct. 10 and two weeks later hauled in a season-long 18-yard reception in the Skyhawks’ 38-14 win at Austin Peay.
The 6-5, 310-pound Axline saw action at both left guard and right guard last season but is expected to take over starting center duties in 2014. The Shelbyville, Ky. native has earned the starting nod in 33 career games on the offensive line and has helped UT Martin concede just 36 sacks while averaging 30.4 points and 417.2 yards per game in the past three seasons.
Satterfield has established himself as one of the most reliable punters in the OVC over the past two seasons. A 6-1, 171-pound punter from Gallatin, Tenn., he ranked fourth in the conference with a 42.2 yard per punt average in 2013. He tallied 58 punts for 2,446 yards – including 10 punts of 50-plus yards and 24 punts inside the opponent’s own 20-yard line.
Isom enters the 2014 campaign as one of UT Martin’s most experienced defensive linemen. The 6-2, 280-pound St. Louis, Mo. native fought through double teams throughout the 2013 season but still managed to make 31 tackles, three tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, five quarterback hurries and a pass breakup.
The Skyhawks began fall practice on Sunday, Aug. 3 and are currently in preparations for the 2014 season-opener at the University of Kentucky on Aug. 30. Kickoff on the new SEC Network is scheduled for 11 a.m. CST.