NORFOLK, Va. | Norfolk State University football placed four student-athletes on the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) All-Preseason teams, presented by The Home Depot on Friday during the conference’s media day.

Offensive linemen Vincent Byrd Jr., defensive lineman Anthony Blume, defensive back Joseph White, and defensive R.J. Coles were named to the All-MEAC Preseason Second Team during Friday’s media day held at Hilton Norfolk The Main. Additionally, Norfolk State was chosen fifth in the MEAC Preseason Predicted Order of Finish.

“I like that we were chosen low in the preseason poll,” NSU head coach Dawson Odums said. “We embrace that underdog role and gives us something to strive for. Our goal at the end of the season is to be in a position to win the conference title. I am happy for our guys to earn the recognition and I am looking forward to a competitive season inside our conference.”

Byrd, who received All-MEAC Third Team honors last season, helped headline an offensive line that paved the way for several powerful rushing performances. The Spartans recorded a season-high 254 rushing yards at St. Francis, one of three games of more than 200 yards on the ground.

Blume, an All-MEAC Third Team nominee last season, racked up 30 tackles, including 14 solo hits. He was second on the team in tackles for loss (6.5) and had one sack for five yards.

White, an All-MEAC Third team selection in 2022, finished fourth on the team in tackles (43), with three tackles for loss. He picked off the opposing quarterback twice, once against Hampton and once against Howard, along with two pass breakups.

Coles, who was an All-MEAC Second Team selection last season, played in ten games last season for the Green and Gold where he finished third in total tackles with sixty-three, including twenty-seven solo stops. In addition, he had one sack for seven yards, along with one quarterback hurry, one interception, and one pass breakup.

The Spartans open the 2023 season on Saturday, September 2 at William “Dick” Price Stadium in the annual Labor Day Classic against Virginia State. Kickoff against the Trojans is set for 2 p.m.

North Carolina Central swept the preseason accolades as quarterback Davius Richard was tabbed the MEAC Offensive Player of the Year, while defensive back Khalil Baker earned Defensive Player of the Year honors.

In the MEAC predicted order of finish, Norfolk State registered 40 points to claim the fifth spot, while the defending conference champions, North Carolina Central, earned nine first-place votes and 124 points to earn the top spot.

Howard was predicted second (98), followed by South Carolina State (74) and Morgan State (68). Delaware State finished with 28 points to round out the six-team field.

MEAC Preseason Predicted Order of Finish
School (First-Place Votes)Points
1. North Carolina Central (9)124
2. Howard (1)98
3. South Carolina State74
4. Morgan State (1)68
5. Norfolk State40
6. Delaware State (1)28

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