FOREST, VA-The Hampden-Sydney football team has been picked to finish third in the 2018 ODAC Coaches Preseason Poll. The Tigers garnered one first place vote, while defending champion Washington & Lee and Randolph-Macon are tied at the top of the poll, with the Generals collecting four first place votes and the Yellow Jackets two. Newcomer to the ODAC Ferrum claimed the final first place vote while rounding out the top four.
The Tigers, who finished the 2017 season at 6-4 overall while finishing second in the ODAC, return a wealth of talent this season, including 12 starters (five offense, seven defense).
Offensively, the Tigers return three All-ODAC honorees, including senior quarterback Alec Cobb (Jamestown, NC/Ragsdale) who earned Second Team honors after throwing for 3,064 yards and 29 touchdowns while completing nearly 69 percent of his passes. Third Team All-ODAC receiver Major Morgan (Onancock, VA/Broadwater Academy) will headline the receiving core after catching 56 passes for 778 yards and ten touchdowns a season ago.
Third Team All-ODAC offensive lineman Tyler Howerton (Alexandria, VA/Langley) returns with Andrew Grage (Virginia Beach, VA/Ocean Lakes) and Nate Higgins (Arden, NC/T.C. Roberson) to anchor the offensive line.
A bulk of the defense returns, including two All-ODAC picks in First Team linebacker Griffin Davis (Charlottesville, VA/Monticello) (60 tkls; 14 TFL) and Second Team cornerback Brian Gwaltney (Colonial Heights, VA/Colonial Heights) (59 tkls; 12 pass break ups). Chad Vanlandingham (Mechanicsville, VA/Atlee) (58 tkls; 5 TFL) and Brendan Weinberg (Apex, NC/Middle Creek) (29 tkls; 6 TFL) complete the linebacking core. The front line returns the likes of Tanner Ramey (Mechanicsville, VA/Atlee) (33 tkls; 5 TFL) and John Kline (New Cumberland, PA/Trinity) (24 tkls; 6.5 TFL), and Ryan Mallory (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) (59 tkls; 5 TFL) and Luke Roberts (Moseley, VA/Cosby) (12 tkls; 1.5 TFL) will play a large role in the secondary.
The Tigers open their season on Saturday, September 1 as they travel to Danville to face the Cougars of Averett University. Kickoff is set for 6:00 PM.
You can view the ODAC's virtual guide for the 2018 season here.
2018 ODAC Football Preseason Poll