Three members of the Chattanooga Mocs football team were named to the 2012 Phil Steele Preseason FCS All-American squad today. Junior defensive back Kadeem Wise gets his first national recognition, while junior linebacker Wes Dothard and senior defensive end Josh Williams add to their list of accolades.
Wise (5-10, 180) is a two-time All-Southern Conference honoree and is on Steele’s All-American Fourth Team. The Lawrenceville, Ga., native has eight career interceptions, the most of any on the current roster. He is tied for 10th in career interceptions at UTC, one behind head coach Russ Huesman.
Wise is on the preseason All-SoCon second team and is the only Moc in school history to be named All-SoCon in both of his first two years. He started all 22 games of his career at cornerback, posting 45 tackles and two picks last season. He was the SoCon Freshman of the Year in 2010 when he set the UTC rookie record with six interceptions.
Dothard and Williams both made Steele’s third team, each garnering their third preseason All-American recognitions. Both were already on the College Sporting News and Sports Network's Preseason All-American teams and both are first team preseason All-Southern Conference picks. Dothard is also on the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List for the top defensive player in the nation.
Dothard (6-1, 235), hailing from Carrollton, Ga., is coming off a stellar sophomore campaign that included 98 tackles, five forced fumbles and two defensive scores. He was a first team All-American and All-SoCon pick last season.
Williams (6-3, 235) is the Mocs' all-time leader in sacks with 21.5 in his three-year career. The Griffin, Ga., native led the SoCon in sacks last season (9.5) and earned first team honors from the league. He has started 31 of 33 games in his career.
Wise, Dothard and Williams are three of the eight starters returning to what should be one of the top defenses in the nation. UTC led the SoCon in total defense (305.3 yds/game), scoring defense (19.7 ppg), pass efficiency defense (100.15), pass defense (140.8 yds/game), turnover margin (+9), fumbles recovered (14), opponent third-down conversion (33%) and opponent fourth down conversion (38%) in 2011.
As a team, the Mocs were picked No. 29 in Steele’s Preseason FCS Top-40. Steele also releases his own preseason All-SoCon Team that included 10 Mocs. Dothard, Williams and Wise were on the first team defense, while junior receiver Marlon Anthony (6-5, 220) and tight end Faysal Shafaat (6-5, 240) were on the second team offense. Junior defensive back D.J. Key (6-0, 195) and sophomore defensive end Davis Tull (6-3, 235) made the second team defense, while kicker Nick Pollard (6-0, 180) and kick returner Chaz Moore (5-10, 165) were second team specialists.
Chattanooga opens the season on Sept. 1 with a trip to South Florida. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. (EDT) against the Bulls and the game will broadcast on ESPN3. The home opener is Thursday, Sept. 13, at 7:00 p.m. against Glenville State. Season tickets are on sale now by calling the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627) or on GoMocs.com.
The 2012 Phil Steele FCS Football Preview is headed to newstands now. For more information, or to order your copy today, visit www.philsteele.com. This is the second year Phil Steele has printed a national preview issue covering FCS football.
The first glimpse of the progress made in fall camp is on display Saturday at 2:30 p.m., on Davenport Field at Finley Stadium. Admission is free.