May 19, 2010
ATHENS, Ohio-Ohio punt returner LaVon Brazill earned his second preseason All-America honor, while several of his teammates were also recognized as Phil Steele released his preseason honors Wednesday as part of his 2010 College Football Preview.
Brazill was named second-team All-America after claiming third-team honors earlier this month from NationalChamps.net. He received 2009 postseason All-America honors from Sporting News (second team), Phil Steele (fourth team) and SI.com (honorable mention). The Lantana, Fla. native was the only Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) student-athlete in the nation with three punt returns for touchdowns last season, averaging 13.46 yards per return, which was the 12th-highest total nationally. Brazill recorded scores on a 72-yarder at Bowling Green, an 87-yarder against Kent State and a 91-yader against Northern Illinois. For his career, Brazill has a school-record four punt returns for touchdowns.
Brazill was also named to Steele’s preseason All-MAC first team at wide receiver (and punt returner), along with linebacker Noah Keller and kicker Matt Weller. Keller was named an honorable mention preseason All-American by NationalChamps.net and earned the same honor from SI.com following last season’s 9-5 season by the Bobcats. Last season, the Kearney, Neb. native posted a MAC-high 155 tackles, which averaged out to 11.07 per game, the sixth-highest total nationally. He also finished with nine tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception, three pass breakups and a pair of forced fumbles. Weller claimed Freshman All-America honors last season from Phil Steele, CollegeFootballNews.com and Sporting News after he set the single-season school record with 21 field goals.
A pair of Ohio’s defensive linemen were selected to Steele’s second team in defensive tackle Ernie Hodge and defensive end Dak Notestine. Hodge was named third-team All-MAC last season after compiling 48 tackles, which included 5.5 tackles for loss, two pass breakups and one fumble recovery. Notestine had 65 tackles, posting a team-best 10 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, one pass breakup and three forced fumbles.
Wide receiver Terrence McCrae, who tied a school record with nine touchdown catches last season in addition to his 35 catches for 545 yards, was named to the third team, along with tackle Joe Flading. Flading played 677 snaps last season and boasted a grade of 1.84, the third-highest on the squad, with 34.5 pancakes 15 decleaters.
Nose tackle Marcellis Willliamson was also named to the third team on the defensive side, as was safety Gerald Moore. Williamson had 46 tackles with 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries last season, while Moore was named to Sporting News’ Freshman All-America team last year after posting 68 tackles, the fourth-highest mark on the team, with one tackle for loss, a half sack, six interceptions, a pass breakup, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.
Defensive end Stafford Gatling, the final member of Ohio’s front four, was named to Steele’s fourth team. Gatling recorded 45 tackles last season, with 7.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, one pass breakup, one fumble recovery and two forced fumbles.
Ohio placed four student-athletes on Steele’s honorable mention squad in quarterback Phil Bates, tight end Jordan Thompson, guard Eric Herman and safety Steven Jackson. Bates will see his first action in 2010 after sitting out his year in residency last season following his transfer from Iowa State. Thompson caught seven passes for 109 yards last season and Herman led the team with 45.5 pancakes in 563 snaps with 4.5 decleaters. An injury cut short Jackson’s 2009 campaign, but he was named third-team All-MAC in 2008 after a season that saw him amass 71 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and four pass breakups.
The Bobcats, fresh off their second MAC East title and bowl appearance in the last four years, will open their 2010 slate on Saturday, Sept. 4 against Wofford in Peden Stadium.