2019 Big South Conference football media day recap

By Brian Wilmer -

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Those familiar with the Big South Conference hierarchy saw a name atop the preseason poll that could hardly have been shocking.

Kennesaw State received 14 of 20 preseason first-place votes to make itself the favorite to win a third-straight Big South football crown. The Owls, winners of their last 10 conference contests, enter the year with a number of new faces, but the same lofty expectations. Kennesaw State finished last season 11-2 (5-0 Big South), knocking off Wofford in the second round of the FCS playoffs before falling, 27-17, to fifth-seeded South Dakota State.

“It’s a new team. It’s a new group of young men that are gonna try to come together with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to be the best they can be on every Saturday,” said Kennesaw State coach Brian Bohannon in remarks to the media. “We’ve got a lot of new faces on our football team, with 10-of-11 starters gone on offense, [and] a new defensive staff. The standard hasn’t changed, the goals haven’t changed, but there will be some faces that have changed. We’re awfully excited about the 2019 season.”

Star quarterback Chandler Burks is one of those 10 missing offensive faces, having graduated after a year in which he accounted for 39 total touchdowns. Redshirt-senior Daniel David will take over under center for Burks, and will helm the Owls’ triple option attack. Redshirt-junior linebacker Bryson Armstrong guides the Owls on defense, having recorded 75 tackles (10 for loss) in the 2018 season.

Armstrong received 17 first-place votes to earn the league’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second year in a row, with Monmouth quarterback Kenji Bahar receiving 17 votes to take home Preseason Offensive Player of the Year plaudits. The redshirt-senior signal-caller set a school record through the air last season, throwing for 2,626 yards in a year in which he broke the 300-yard mark of total offense on three separate occasions.

Monmouth placed three offensive starters on the All-Conference First-Team, with Bahar joining running backs Juwon Farri and Pete Guerriero. Five Kennesaw State defenders earned All-Conference honors, with defensive linemen Desmond Johnson and Andrew Butcher joining Armstrong and defensive backs Dorian Walker and Cincere Mason.

The Big South begins play Thursday, August 29, with Gardner-Webb traveling to Charlotte and North Alabama hosting Western Illinois. The Runnin’ Bulldogs season-opener in the Queen City marks one of seven contests the league will feature against FBS foes.

2019 PRESEASON FOOTBALL POLL

 Rank – School (first-place votes) Points
 1 – Kennesaw State (14) 134
 2 – Monmouth (5) 122
 3 – Charleston Southern (1) 79
 4 – Campbell 73
 5 – Gardner-Webb 67
 6 – Hampton 64
 7 – Presbyterian College 21

Note: points are based on a weighted system, with first-place votes receiving 7 points, followed by 6 points for second-place, and so on. 

PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE FIRST-TEAM
OFFENSE                                                                       
QB – Kenji Bahar, R-Sr., Monmouth
RB – Juwon Farri, Soph., Monmouth
RB – Pete Guerriero, R-Jr., Monmouth
WR – Caleb Snead, R-Soph., Campbell
WR – Keith Pearson, Jr., Presbyterian
WR – Jakobi Byrd, R-Soph., North Alabama
TE – Michael Wooten, R-Sr., Campbell
OL – Zack Evans, R-Sr., Charleston Southern
OL – Jacob Cuddington, R-Sr., Campbell
OL – Brandon Leahey, R-Sr., Gardner-Webb
OL – Gibril Ghee, R-Sr., Hampton
OL – Matt Price, R-Sr., Campbell

DEFENSE
DL – Damien Dozier, R-Jr., Campbell
DL – John Singleton, R-Soph., Gardner-Webb
DL – Desmond Johnson, R-Sr., Kennesaw State
DL – Andrew Butcher, Sr., Kennesaw State
LB – Bryson Armstrong, R-Jr., Kennesaw State
LB – J.D. Sosebee, R-Sr., Charleston Southern
LB – Colby Campbell, Jr., Presbyterian
LB – Darien Reynolds, Jr., Gardner-Webb
DB – Tymere Berry, R-Sr., Monmouth
DB – Dorian Walker, Sr., Kennesaw State
DB – Cincere Mason, R-Soph., Kennesaw State
DB – Dorian Jones, Soph., Campbell

SPECIAL TEAMS
PK – Matt Mosquera, Sr., Monmouth
P – Brad Dennis, R-Sr., Campbell
KR – Isaac Foster, Soph., Kennesaw State
PR – Isaac Foster, Soph., Kennesaw State
LS – Ethan Ray, R-Jr., Charleston Southern

PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION
QB – Christian Lopez, Sr., North Alabama
RB – Shaquil Terry, Jr., Kennesaw State
WR – Ronald Bell, Gr., Hampton
OL – Eli Teeselink, R-Sr., Presbyterian
DL – Josh Ramseur, Gr., Gardner-Webb
LB – Jarrett Nagy, Soph., Presbyterian (tie)
LB – Charlie Patrick, Jr., Kennesaw State (tie)
DB – Justin Terry, Jr., Monmouth
PK – Colin Gary, R-Sr., Campbell
P – Kyle Reighard, R-Sr., Charleston Southern
LS – Jackson Hayes, Soph., Campbell

PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Kenji Bahar, R-Sr., QB, Monmouth (Baltimore, Md.)

PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Bryson Armstrong, R-Jr., LB, Kennesaw State (Marietta, Ga.)

Big South Conference Football Schedules

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