Western Carolina senior quarterback Tyrie Adams was named Southern Conference Preseason Offensive Player of the Year in voting by league coaches.
He was also selected first team all-conference quarterback. Joining him on the first team are junior tight end Owen Cosenke and sophomore defensive back Ronald Kent.
WCU was picked to finish eighth out of nine teams by the coaches and media.
The top three in both polls were identical with Wofford selected to win the league crown followed by Furman and East Tennessee. The latter half of the poll also mirrored each other with Samford in sixth followed by Citadel, WCU and Virginia Military. The only difference came as the coaches went with UT-Chattanooga fourth and Mercer fifth while the media reversed that order.
Adams was chosen a Football Championship Subdivision preseason All-American by HERO Sports last month. He is a two-time all-conference selection and was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award.
Last year, Adams became the 11th FCS quarterback all-time to throw for at least 2,000 yards while rushing for 1,000-plus yards in the same season. He totaled 2,417 yards passing and a league-leading 1,006 yards on the ground. He was chosen second-team All-America by STATS FCS and third-team by HERO Sports, both coming as an all-purpose back.
Adams, who is from St. Petersburg, Fla., enters his final season in a position to break two of WCU’s all-time career offensive records. Already with the program’s all-time passing touchdown record of 53, Adams’ 9,389 yards of total offense are just 9 yards shy of the school record. He needs 75 passing yards to surpass the school record of 7,354.
A third-team All-America selection by the Associated Press last year and a first-team all-conference honoree, Cosenke caught 23 passes and a team-best eight receiving touchdowns a season ago. He is from Aldie, Virginia.
Kent, who is from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was selected for the conference all-freshman team last year and was chosen freshman All-American by Phil Steele and HERO Sports. He had 45 tackles, including 31 solo stops, and was second in the league with 12 pass break-ups.
Season tickets for home games are on sale through the Catamount Athletics ticket office, located on the first floor of the Ramsey Center, by phone at 800-34-GOWCU and online at catamountsports.com. Single game tickets will go on sale Aug. 7.
WCU football players will report for fall camp Aug. 1, with drills beginning the next day.
The season will open Aug. 31 with a 6 p.m. conference game against Mercer at E.J. Whitmire Stadium/Bob Waters Field. Fans are encouraged to wear purple for a “Purple Out,” and postgame fireworks are planned.