Camels picked 7th in Pioneer preseason poll

Jul. 30, 2014 @ 05:01 AM

Campbell has been picked seventh in the 2014 Pioneer Football League preseason coaches poll.

For the third consecutive year, San Diego was predicted to win the PFL regular-season race.

The upcoming season is the 22nd year for the PFL – the nation’s only non-scholarship, football-only NCAA Football Championship Subdivision conference. The league will feature 11 teams each playing an eight-game schedule to determine the league champion and recipient of the automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA FCS Championship.

Last season, the PFL race ended with Butler and Marist each claiming a share of the league title with 7-1 records, Butler earning the league’s automatic bid due to a tiebreaker.

San Diego received five of a possible 10 first-place votes and 90 of a maximum 100 points as coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team in the poll. Dayton was ranked second with 82 points despite not receiving a first-place vote. Jacksonville received three first-place votes and was ranked third with 80 points. Butler rounds out the league’s top four with two first-place votes and 77 points.

Drake picked up one first-place vote and was picked fifth with 73 total points. Marist, a league co-champion just eight months ago, fell to sixth in the preseason poll with 61 points.

Campbell (38 points), Morehead State (35), Stetson (30), Davidson (20) and Valparaiso (19) round out the league poll.

The Camels welcome back 10 defensive and eight offensive starters from last season with 59 total lettermen making a return.

Five Camels, including Dalton Brown and Matt Farris taking second team honors, have been named preseason All-American by USA College Football.

Brown was named second team offensive line while Farris joined him on the second team at linebacker. Three Camels were also named to the USA Football third team with Will Sawyer on the offensive line, Ugonna Awuruonye on the defensive line and Adam Lutz at punter.

Lutz is also one of three Camels to earn a spot on one of the College Football Performance Awards' 2014 watch lists. CU teammate Isaac Scott was named to the CFPA's initial list for defensive linemen, while Austin Fleming has been added to the CFPA's tight end watch list.

Campbell will kickoff the 2014 season at home on Aug. 28, a Thursday night, at 7 p.m. against Charlotte. Charlotte defeated the Camels 52-7 in last season's opener for both squads.

The Camels went 3-9 overall in 2013, finishing the year with a 47-14 win at Davidson. Campbell set 21 offensive team records in Mike Minter's first season as head coach, including rushing yards (2,800), passing yards (2,436), and total offense (5,236), four defensive, including sacks (27), and three on special teams.

Senior Kurt Odom became Campbell's first football All-America selection, earning Third Team honors from the Sports Network. Odom was also named First Team All-PFL while seven Camels took home honorable mention nods. Odom, along with Adam Lutz, Ben Bolling and Hunter Somerville were also First Team Academic All-PFL. Michael Rudisill and Lucas Smith both earned Second Team honors.