Johnson City, Tenn. -- East Tennessee State University senior Ocasio Cofield and junior Cecil Moore both earned All-Southern Conference Football Preseason honors, as selected by the league's coaches. The Bucs were picked fifth in both the coaches and media polls, it was announced today at the annual Football Rouser in Greenville, S.C.
A free safety, Cofield is the Bucs' top returning tackler after compiling 82 stops (49 solo) last fall. He led the team in tackles in three consecutive games, including a season-high 15 stops against Appalachian State (Sept. 30) and Furman (Oct. 21). The 6-3, 220-pound defensive back earned 2000 All-Southern Conference Second Team honors.
"Ocasio is very deserving of his selection," fifth-year head coach Paul Hamilton said. "He will be a great leader this fall and I hope he earns the honors at the end of the year as well."
In addition to Cofield's First Team selection, Moore was honored as a Second Team Preseason All-Conference player. The 6-2 wide receiver earned both 2000 All-America honorable mention from Don Hansen's National Football Gazette and All-Southern Conference honors last fall. He ranked fourth in the SoCon in receptions/game (5.27) and fifth in receiving yards/game (80.3). His 58 catches and 862 receiving yards led the Bucs, while he ranked second with seven touchdowns.
"I thought Cecil could have been on the first team," Hamilton said. "This will get his motor going and he will work extremely hard this preseason to prove he is a first team All-Southern Conference player."
ETSU was picked fifth in the 2001 Preseason Poll by both the league's coaches and media. The Bucs have compiled identical 6-5 records, 4-4 in Southern Conference action (fifth place), in each of the last two seasons.
"At this point the top picks in the Conference are what they should be," Hamilton said. "We are not concerned with where we are picked now but where we will be in November."
The Bucs open the 2001 season at 6 p.m. on September 1 in Pittsburgh, Pa. ETSU and the University of Pittsburgh will play the first official game in brand-new Heinz Field.