Two Eastern Illinois football players earned a spot on the Ohio Valley Conference Preseason Football Team Monday.
Sophomore inside linebacker Jason Johnson and redshirt-freshman kick returner Matt Judd were the two Panthers to receive the accolade.
Joining Johnson on the defensive side of the ball were: Bryson Donnell (senior defensive tackle, Southeast Missouri State), Davoan Hawkins (redshirt-sophomore defensive tackle, Tennessee State), Chris Tucker (graduate defensive end, Tennessee Tech), Ethan Edmondson (senior defensive end, Murray State), Omardrick Douglas (graduate outside linebacker, Southeast Missouri State), Scotty Humpich (senior outside linebacker, Murray State), James Green (redshirt-junior outside linebacker, Tennessee State), Eric Samuta (senior inside linebacker, Murray State), Jack McDonald (senior inside linebacker, Austin Peay), Marcis Floyd (senior cornerback, Murray State), Jay Woods (graduate cornerback, UT Martin), Deven Sims (redshirt-junior safety, UT Martin), Josh Reliford (redshirt-junior safety, Tennessee Tech), Josh Green (redshirt-sophomore safety, Tennessee State), and Kordell Jackson (redshirt-senior nickelback, Austin Peay).
As for Judd, he is joined on the specialists’ side by: Antonio Zita (junior kicker, Tennessee State), Zach Haynes (junior punter, Southeast Missouri State), and Malik Honeycutt (redshirt-senior punt returner, Murray State).
Projected to finish last in the conference, per OVC head football coaches and communications directors, the Panthers received 12 points.
Murray State had the most with 64 points, including seven first-place votes. Austin Peay and Southeast Missouri State tied for second with 60 points, with the Governors receiving four first-place votes and the Redhawks receiving three, while UT Martin had 38 points, Tennessee State 32, and Tennessee Tech 28.
The preseason Offensive Player of the Year was Austin Peay quarterback Draylen Ellis, while the Defensive Player of the Year was Jackson.
EIU opens the season at Indiana State on Saturday, August 28, at 5 p.m.