BALTIMORE, Md. (July 23, 2008) -- Massachusetts, which returns 12 starters off last year’s CAA Football Championship team, is picked to capture the overall CAA Football Championship in 2008. Richmond, also a 2007 CAA Football Champion, edged out James Madison for the top spot in the South Division race according to a vote of the league’s 12 head coaches and selected media. The results of the poll, along with the Preseason All-Conference squads were announced during Wednesday’s CAA Football Media Day at the ESPNZone in Baltimore, Md.

Massachusetts’ senior quarterback Liam Coen and Maine’s senior defensive lineman Jovan Belcher headlined the 2008 CAA Football Preseason All-Conference squad as both were selected as Preseason Players of the Year. Coen, who passed for 3,091 yards and had an effeciency rating of 156.3 in 2007, earned Offensive honors while Belcher, who led the league in sacks with 10 last season, picked up Defensive honors.

Massachusetts, which has won two-straight league crowns, placed a total of five on the Preseason All-Conference squad this season. Coen was joined by offensive lineman Sean Calicchio on the offense. UMass filled three of the four preseason defensive backfield spots with safety Jeromy Miles and cornerbacks Courtney Robinson and Sean Smalls.

New Hampshire earned one first-place vote and finished second in the preseason poll’s North Division. The Wildcats also had two on the preseason squad including tight end Scott Sicko and punter Tom Bishop. Hofstra also logged a first-place vote in the North and finished third in the divisional voting.

Maine, selected fourth among the North Division, placed four on the preseason squad. Joining Belcher on the defensive side of the ball was linebacker Andrew Downey, while running back Jhamal Fluellen and lineman Ryan Canary earned spots on the offense.

Northeastern and Rhode Island came in fifth and sixth among the North Division voting, respectively. The Rams also placed fullback Joe Casey among the preseason honorees.

Richmond, which garnered 11 first-place divisional votes, logged the most preseason honorees by landing six on the squad. Wide receiver Kevin Grayson and offensive lineman Matt McCracken earned spots on the offense, while defensive lineman Lawrence Sidbury and linebackers Eric McBride and Collin McConaghy were part of the defense. Return specialist Justin Rogers was the sixth Spider to be honored by the league’s coaches.

James Madison, which picked up seven first-place votes in the South Division, placed two on the league’s preseason squad with running back Eugene Holloman and offensive lineman Scott Lemn earning spots.

Delaware earned one first-place vote in the South and was ranked third in the division. The Blue Hens had five among the preseason honorees, including wide receiver Aaron Love, offensive lineman Kheon Hendricks, defensive lineman Matt Marcorelle, linebacker Erik Johnson and placekicker Jon Striefsky.

Villanova, selected fourth in the South Division, garnered one preseason honoree in defensive lineman Tim Kukucka. William and Mary and Towson were picked fifth and sixth, respectively in the South. The Tigers’ wide receiver Marcus Lee and safety Drew Mack were also selected as preseason honorees.

CAA Football’s 2008 regular season is set to kick off Aug. 28 when Northeastern travels to Ball State and Hofstra takes on Connecticut. The first CAA Football league contests of 2008 will take place Sept. 13 when New Hampshire visits Rhode Island, Towson travels to Richmond and Massachusetts heads south to take on James Madison. CAASports.com is your place to stay abreast of all the action leading up to another exciting season of CAA Football in 2008.

2008 CAA FOOTBALL PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

OVERALL CHAMPION -- Massachusetts

North Division (First Place votes)
1. Massachusetts (17)
2. New Hampshire (1)
3. Hofstra (1)
4. Maine
5. Northeastern
6. Rhode Island

South Division (First Place votes)
1. Richmond (11)
2. James Madison (7)
3. Delaware (1)
4. Villanova
5. William and Mary
6. Towson

2008 CAA FOOTBALL PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Position Name Year Height Weight School
Quarterback Liam Coen Senior 6-2 220 Massachusetts






2008 CAA FOOTBALL PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Position Name Year Height Weight School
Defensive Line Jovan Belcher Senior 6-2 228 Maine






2008 CAA FOOTBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM -- OFFENSE
Position Name Year Height Weight School
Quarterback Liam Coen Senior 6-2 220 Massachusetts
Running Back Jhamal Fluellen Senior 5-9 186 Maine
Running Back Eugene Holloman Senior 5-11 170 James Madison
Fullback Joe Casey Senior 5-10 210 Rhode Island
Wide Receiver Kevin Grayson Sophomore 6-3 190 Richmond
Wide Receiver Marcus Lee Senior 6-2 195 Towson
Wide Receiver Aaron Love Senior 5-9 160 Delaware
Tight End Scott Sicko Junior 6-3 225 New Hampshire
Offensive Line Sean Calicchio Senior 6-5 310 Massachusetts
Offensive Line Ryan Canary Senior 6-2 276 Maine
Offensive Line Kheon Hendricks Senior 6-1 295 Delaware
Offensive Line Scott Lemn Senior 6-3 285 James Madison
Offensive Line Matt McCracken Junior 6-4 300 Richmond






2008 CAA FOOTBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM -- DEFENSE
Position Name Year Height Weight School
Defensive Line Jovan Belcher Senior 6-2 228 Maine
Defensive Line Tim Kukucka Junior 6-3 255 Villanova
Defensive Line Matt Marcorelle Junior 6-2 250 Delaware
Defensive Line Lawrence Sidbury Senior 6-4 260 Richmond
Linebacker Andrew Downey Senior 6-1 228 Maine
Linebacker Erik Johnson Senior 6-2 235 Delaware
Linebacker Eric McBride Sophomore 6-2 210 Richmond
Linebacker Collin McConaghy Junior 6-0 225 Richmond
Safety Drew Mack Senior 6-1 205 Towson
Safety Jeromy Miles Junior 6-2 207 Massachusetts
Cornerback Courtney Robinson Senior 6-0 195 Massachusetts
Cornerback Sean Smalls Senior 6-1 205 Massachusetts