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VMI Football: Four Keydets named preseason All-SoCon

vmi footballFour VMI football players were named to the Preseason All-Southern Conference teams announced by the league Monday afternoon at the 2019 SoCon Football Media Day in Spartanburg, S.C.

Senior wide receiver Javeon Lara was named to the first team offense while junior quarterback Reece Udinski was named to the second team offense. On the defensive side, junior AJ Smith was named to the first team defense and on special teams senior Rohan Martin was named a second team return specialist.

Lara is a three-year letterman and returning starter coming off an excellent 2018 season in which he accumulated the second most catches and yards among receivers with 53 catches for 825 yards. He led the team in touchdown receptions with seven and earned the team’s longest reception of the year with a 72-yard touchdown catch against Samford. He produced four 100+ yard receiving games as a junior.

AJ Smith is a two-year letterman and returning starter that earned 2018 All-SoCon second team defense honors a year ago. The Academic All-American started all 11 games at safety a year ago extending his start streak to 18. He co-led the team in tackles with 90 for sixth in the league standing with 8.2 tackles per game.  He led the Keydet defense with 55 solo stops last season and broke up three passes during the season.

Udinski rewrote the season passing record book in 2018 by throwing for over 3,000 yards and became the first quarterback in school history to surpass the 3,000 yard threshold for a single season. He set season marks for completions (302), attempts (523), total plays (570) and tied the season mark for most touchdown passes in a season with 20. Udinski established VMI single game records for passing yards when he threw for 491 yards in VMI’s 52-50 loss at Western Carolina September 22 which also stood as the second most yards by a SoCon QB during the year.

Rohan Martin was a 2018 second team All-Socon specialist despite only playing in eight games due to injury. He tied for third on the team for the most receptions on the year with 30 to go with 252 yards and a touchdown. On special teams he averaged 15.9 yards per return in seven tries.

Western Carolina quarterback Tyrie Adams was named the preseason Offensive Player of the Year and defensive lineman Nasir Player of ETSU was named the preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

2019 Preseason All-SoCon Teams

First Team Offense

QB           Tyrie Adams, R-Sr., Western Carolina
RB           Quay Holmes, R-So., ETSU
RB           Tyray Devezin, Jr., Mercer
OL           Bo Layton, R-Jr., Furman
OL           Austin Sanders, R-Sr., Mercer
OL           Nick Nixon, Sr., Samford
OL           Justus Basinger, Sr., Wofford
OL           Michael Ralph, Sr., Wofford
TE            Owen Cosenke, Jr., Western Carolina
WR          Bryce Nunnelly, Jr., Chattanooga
WR          Javeon Lara, Sr., VMI

First Team Defense

DL           Joseph Randall II, Sr., The Citadel
DL           Jason Maduafokwa, R-Sr., ETSU
DL           Nasir Player, R-Sr., ETSU
DL           Thad Mangum, Sr., Wofford
LB            Willie Eubanks III, Jr., The Citadel
LB            Adrian Hope, R-So., Furman
LB            Marshall Cooper, Sr., Chattanooga
DB           Tyree Robinson, Jr., ETSU
DB           Brandon Dowdell, Jr., Chattanooga
DB           Jerrell Lawson, R-Jr., Chattanooga
DB           A.J. Smith, Jr., VMI
DB           Ronald Kent Jr., So., Western Carolina

First Team Specialists

PK           Grayson Atkins, Jr., Furman
PK           Mitchell Fineran, So., Samford
P              Matthew Campbell, So., The Citadel
RS            David Durden, So., Mercer

Second Team Offense

QB           Reece Udinski, Jr., VMI
RB           Devin Wynn, Jr., Furman
RB           Tyrell Price, Sr., Chattanooga
OL           Haden Haas, R-So., The Citadel
OL           Drew McEntyre, Sr., The Citadel
OL           Ben Blackmon, R-Sr., ETSU
OL           Tre’mond Shorts, R-So., ETSU
OL           Andy Godwin, R-Sr., Furman
OL           Cole Strange, R-Jr., Chattanooga
OL           Blake Jeresaty, Jr., Wofford
TE            Chris Ellington, Sr., Mercer
WR          Thomas Gordon, Sr., Furman
WR          David Durden, So., Mercer

Second Team Defense

DL           Dorian Kithcart, R-Sr., Mercer
DL           Justin Foster, Sr., Samford
DL           Nelson Jordan, So., Samford
DL           Mikel Horton, Jr., Wofford
LB            Elijah McKoy, Jr., Furman
LB            Will Coneway, R-Sr., Mercer
LB            Jireh Wilson, Sr., Wofford
DB           Jeremy Lewis, Sr., ETSU
DB           Malique Fleming, R-Jr., Mercer
DB           Mason Alstatt, Sr., Wofford
DB           George Gbesee, Sr., Wofford

Second Team Specialists

PK           Jacob Godek, Sr., The Citadel
P              Luke Carter, Sr., Wofford
RS            Rohan Martin, Sr., VMI

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