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Johnson City, Tenn. -- Three East Tennessee State football players earned 2000 Southern Conference Coaches preseason honors it was announced at the SoCon Football Rouser in Asheville, N.C.
Seniors Rahim El Amin (Orangeburg, S.C.), Denario Smalls (Moncks Corner, S.C.) and Terrance Sims (Spartanburg, S.C.) earned the distinction.
An All-America candidate at linebacker, El Amin ranked third on the team in tackles (84) last fall. He made five tackles for loss, including 3.5 sacks. A defensive back, Smalls ranked fifth on the team with 66 tackles and made four interceptions. Sims, one of the fastest Bucs, is a dangerous kick returner. He averaged 21.6 yards/return including a season-long 49-yarder against The Citadel on September 2.
ETSU was selected to finish sixth in both the coaches and media poll. The coaches poll had Furman and Georgia Southern tied for first, followed by: Appalachian State, Wofford, Chattanooga, ETSU, Western Carolina, The Citadel and VMI. The media poll was identical to the coaches except Georgia Southern was selected first with Furman finishing second.
The Bucs will open their season at Liberty on September 7. The game will begin at 7 p.m.