CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With the start of the 2012 football season approaching, the Big South Conference continues to receive national recognition during the preseason. The Conference is well-represented on recently announced preseason All-America teams released by Phil Steele Magazine, College Sports Journal and College Sporting News. In addition, the Big South has a team ranked in the preseason Top 25 for the third consecutive year.
Defending Big South champion and preseason Conference favorite Stony Brook is ranked No. 17 nationally by both The Sports Network and the FCS Coaches Poll. College Sports Journal has the Seawolves ranked No. 11 in its inaugural preseason ranking. Liberty is just outside the Top 25, as the Flames are No. 26 in the College Sports Journal poll, No. 27 in the FCS Coaches ranking and No. 30 by The Sports Network.
Meanwhile, Gardner-Webb sophomore kicker Trever Austin and Stony Brook redshirt-senior kicker Wesley Skiffington have been named to Watch List for the Fred Mitchell Award. Candidates are comprised of FCS, Division II, III, NAIA and NJCAA collegiate placekickers nominated for excellence on the football field and in the community. Austin and Skiffington are among 44 candidates from more than 750 eligible colleges.
Phil Steele's FCS Preseason All-American Team features five Big South football players. Liberty offensive lineman Malcolm Boyd and Flames' kickoff returner Kevin Fogg were named to the First-Team, while Coastal Carolina tight end David Duran and Charleston Southern defensive back Charles James were Second-Team selections. Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet was a Fourth-Team honoree.
College Sports Journal also honored five Big South student-athletes. Boyd, James, Fogg and Liberty long snapper Richard Wright were all named First-Team preseason All-Americans by the news outlet, while Maysonet garnered Third-Team recognition.
The Big South placed six players on the College Sporting News Preseason All-America Teams. Boyd, James, Fogg and Wright were First-Team selections, while Charleston Southern long snapper Michael Chocholousek was a Second-Team honoree. Stony Brook linebacker Jawara Dudley earned Third-Team honors.
The 2012 football season begins Saturday, Sept. 1 with all seven teams in action.