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Smith, Grant Named to Preseason All- Conference Team


Smith, Grant Named to Preseason All- Conference Team

Florida Atlantic University quarterback Rusty Smith was named Sun Belt Preseason Offensive Player of the Year in a poll of conference head coaches.

It is the second year in a row that Smith has received the honor, this time sharing the award with Arkansas State quarterback Corey Leonard. Smith topped more than 3,000 passing yards for the second consecutive season, going for 3,224 in 2008 while helping the Owls to their second bowl in as many seasons, with a 24-21 win over Central Michigan in the Motor City Bowl.

Smith was joined on the first team by senior tight end Jamari Grant, who caught 45 passes for 642 yards and four touchdowns in 2008. Grant had five receptions for 70 yards in FAU’s bowl win.

The Owls were picked to finish third in conference, behind defending champion Troy and Arkansas State.

Source:  FAU Media Relations

Preseason All-Sun Belt Team

As voted on by the league’s nine head coaches and selected media members.


Corey Leonard  (Arkansas State, QB, Sr.)

Rusty Smith (Florida Atlantic, Sr, QB)

Reggie Arnold (Arkansas State, RB, Sr.)

DuJuan Harris (Troy, Jr., RB)

T.Y. Hilton (FIU, WR, So.)

Jerrel Jernigan (Troy, Jr., WR)

Jamari Grant (Florida Atlantic, Sr, TE)

Drew Hilton (Arkansas State, OL, Jr.)

Brad Serini (FIU, OL, Jr.)

Brad Bustle (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., OL)

Chris Fisher (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., OL)

Danny Franks (Troy, Sr., C)


Alex Carrington (Arkansas State, DL, Sr.)

Aaron Morgan (ULM, DL, Sr.)

Brandon Lang (Troy, DL, Sr.)

Cameron Sheffield (Troy, DL, Sr.)

Cardia Jackson (ULM, LB, Sr.)

Boris Lee (Troy, LB Sr.)

Bear Woods (Troy, LB Sr.)

Anthony Gaitor (FIU, DB, Jr.)

Jeremy Kellem (Middle Tennessee, DB, Sr.)

Greg James (ULM, DB, Sr.)

Jorrick Calvin (Troy, DB Sr.)

Special Teams

Scott Love (ULM, P, Sr.)

Josh Arauco (Arkansas State, K, Sr.)

T.Y. Hilton (FIU, WR, So.)

Co - Preseason Offensive Players of the Year

Rusty Smith (Florida Atlantic, Sr, QB)

Corey Leonard  (Arkansas State, QB, Sr.)

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

Alex Carrington (Arkansas State, Sr., DE)

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