Complete Madness 2017 Ohio Valley Preseason All-Conference Teams
MARTIN, Tenn. –A total of 11 University of Tennessee at Martin football players have been named to the Madness 2017 Ohio Valley Preseason All-Conference Teams as announced by College Sports Madness.
Quarterback Troy Cook, offensive tackle Kadarren Bond, offensive guard Robert Burleigh, safety Kahlid Hagens and punt returner Londell Lee were named to the first team. Running back Jaimiee Bowe, defensive lineman Donald Cofield, Jr., safety Tae Martin and safety Joseph Este were tabbed to the second team. Wide receiver Caylon Weathers and defensive lineman Jay Murphy rounded out the list on the third team.
Cook, a native of Miami, Fla., returns for his final campaign as a Preseason All-OVC selection after a strong 2016 season under center. After being selected to the College Football Performance Awards FCS National Performer of the Year Trophy Watch List, Cook completed 166 of 298 passes for 2,321 yards while tossing 22 touchdowns. The gunslinger ranked 12th nationally in passing yards per completion (13.98), 22nd in passing touchdowns (22), 26th in yards per pass attempt (7.79) and 29th in passing efficiency (137.4). His best game came against Tennessee State where he completed 27-of-39 passes for 318 yards and four touchdowns.
Bond, a native of Brownsville, Tenn., returns for his senior campaign as a Preseason All-OVC performer after serving as a starter for the past two seasons. Primarily working at left tackle in the past, Bond helped an offensive line squad which led the OVC with a 4.79 sack per dropback percentage in 2016. The Skyhawks would rank 24th nationally and first in the OVC in sacks allowed per game at 1.25.
Burleigh, a native of Jackson, Tenn., continues to add to his preseason accolades after recently being named a preseason All-American selection by Lindy’s Sports and a Preseason All-OVC honoree. After starting for two consecutive seasons, Burleigh was an All-OVC first team selection in 2016 after anchoring an offensive line which ranked amongst the nation’s best. Manning right guard, he was responsible for just one sack on the season while pacing an offensive which ranked 24th nationally and first in the OVC in sacks allowed per game (1.25). He graded out at 84 percent or better all season while tallying 42 knockdowns.
Hagens, a native of Maplewood, Mo., is a STATS FCS Preseason All-American coming off a strong campaign where he earned All-OVC first team honors while being named National Defensive Player of the Week once and OVC Defensive Player of the Week three times. He led the defense with 93 tackles – including 45 solos – while pacing the squad with four interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He tallied five pass breakups two quarterback hurries and a pair of forced fumbles. His best game came against Cincinnati when posted a season-high 15 tackles while posting four games with double-figure tackles.
Lee, a native of Palos Heights, Ill., was recently named a STATS FCS Preseason All-American after ranking fifth nationally in both punt return touchdowns (one) and punt return average (13.6 ypr). He earned OVC Specialist of the Week honors after returning a punt 79 yards for a touchdown against Hawai’i while tallying 18 punt returns for 244 yards. Also serving as a key cog in the receiving core, Lee tallied 25 catches for 355 yards and four touchdowns. His best game of the season came against Southeast Missouri where he tallied four catches for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Bowe, a native of Spartanburg, SC., was also named a Preseason All-OVC selection but will redshirt the 2017 campaign after suffering an offseason injury earlier this month. After playing in all 12 games while tallying 10 starts, Bowe tallied 181 carries for 747 yards and seven touchdowns. He also tallied 10 receptions for 97 yards and one touchdown. His best game of the season came against Hawai’i where he tallied 18 carries for 113 yards and touchdown.
Cofield, a native of Memphis, Tenn., saw action in all 12 games for the Skyhawks while notching one start on the defensive line. Proving to be a menace for opposing offenses, Cofield tallied 29 total tackles – including 16 solos – while notching 6.5 tackles for loss totaling 36 yards. He also ranked second on the team with four sacks while tallying three quarterback hurries. He also tallied one fumble recovery against Austin Peay.
Martin, a native of Murfreesboro, Tenn., proved to be explosive in several facets of the game en route to being named a Preseason All-OVC selection after earning All-OVC second team honors a year ago. He started in all 12 games while tallying 53 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions. He also tallied six pass breakups, three defensive touchdowns, one blocked kick and a forced fumble. On special teams he tallied a kickoff return for a touchdown against Tennessee Tech while returning an interception for a touchdown against both Bacone College and Murray State.
Este, a native of Kenner, La., played in all 12 games while notching 11 starts in the secondary. The senior ranked third on the squad with 67 total tackles, including 43 solos and 24 assists. He also tallied 6.5 tackles for loss totaling 15 yards. Plaguing opposing offenses, Este tallied 10 pass breakups while recording three interceptions and a fumble recovery. His best game came against Jacksonville State last season when he tallied 13 tackles.
Weathers, a native of Germantown, Tenn., played in all 12 games while notching nine starts at receiver. The senior tallied 32 receptions for 385 yards and five touchdowns. He tallied a pair of touchdown receptions against Bacone College while notching a season-high seven catches for 88 yards and a touchdown at Tennessee State.
Murphy, a native of Lewisburg, Tenn., saw action in all 12 games while notching 11 starts on the defensive line. The senior compiled 28 total tackles, including 10 solos and 18 assists. He notched 3.5 tackles for loss totaling eight yards while recording one sack. His best games of the season came against Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State when he notched four tackles each.
UT Martin will officially open preseason camp on Friday, Aug. 4 at 7:15 p.m. The Skyhawks will then open the season with a home matchup against Clarion University on Thursday, Aug. 31 at 6 p.m.
Season ticket packages and single-game ticket sales for Skyhawk football are now available. For more information or to purchase your tickets today, visit ticket manager Fran Spears at the Skyhawk Ticket Office, located in Room 1091 in the Skyhawk Fieldhouse or call (731) 881-7207.