Southern Conference Football Media Day set for Thursday
Southern Conference Football Media Day set for Thursday
Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Event to take place at Omni Grove Park Inn; all nine head coaches will be in attendance

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The Southern Conference will host its 2022 Football Media Day on Thursday, July 28, at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. All nine league head coaches will be on hand to meet with the media and preview the upcoming season, while Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens will be the featured guest at the event’s luncheon.

Owens, a Chattanooga alum who played in the SoCon from 1992-95, will participate in a question-and-answer session with WSPA Sports Director Pete Yanity at the luncheon, which will also feature comments from SoCon Commissioner Jim Schaus.

Yanity will also conduct one-on-one interviews with the league’s head coaches during the afternoon’s media session, with those interviews slated to air on ESPN+ on Friday at 10 a.m. ET.

The league’s preseason all-conference teams and polls will be unveiled at the event, which will also see first-year head coach George Quarles of defending SoCon champion ETSU make his SoCon Media Day debut.

Five of the nine SoCon programs appeared in the national rankings at some point last season, with ETSU finishing in the top 10 of both the AFCA and Stats Perform polls. The Bucs, who won their first-ever outright SoCon title, finished seventh in the AFCA poll and ninth in the Stats Perform poll and earned the No. 7 national seed in the NCAA Division I Football Championship.

The SoCon produced 15 All-Americans last season. The Bucs return running back Jacob Saylors, who earned All-American honors by the Associated Press and Stats Perform FCS. Quarterback Tyler Riddell landed a spot on the HERO Sports Freshman All-American Team following a campaign where he led the Blue and Gold to 11 wins and an appearance in the FCS Quarterfinals. Wide receiver Will Huzzie also received All-American honors as he was placed on the HERO Sports Sophomore All-American Team, while offensive lineman Tavon Matthews also joined Huzzie on the same list. Defensive back Alijah Huzzie earned HERO Sports Freshman All-American honors following the 2021 championship season. 

Former ETSU running back Quay Holmes, the 2021 SoCon Offensive Player of the Year who finished third in the Walter Payton Award voting, led the FCS in rushing yards per game last season with 119.5, while Samford wide receiver/return specialist Montrell Washington paced the subdivision in all-purpose yards with 176.18 per contest and was later taken in the fifth round of the NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. Chattanooga offensive lineman Cole Strange, a two-time winner of the SoCon Jacobs Blocking Award, was drafted 29th overall by the New England Patriots, becoming the SoCon’s first first-round NFL Draft pick since 1974. 

The Southern Conference enters the 2022 campaign seeking its ninth FCS title. The league’s eight are the second-most all-time in the subdivision.

Southern Conference Football Media Day attendees

The Citadel: Head coach Brent Thompson

ETSU: Head coach George Quarles

Furman: Head coach Clay Hendrix

Mercer: Head coach Drew Cronic

Samford: Head coach Chris Hatcher

Chattanooga: Head coach Rusty Wright

VMI: Head coach Scott Wachenheim

Western Carolina: Head coach Kerwin Bell

Wofford: Head coach Josh Conklin