Four Eagles on Big Sky preseason team
PARK CITY, Utah – With cornerback T.J. Lee III leading the way, Eastern Washington placed four players on the All-Big Sky Conference preseason football team announced Sunday.
Lee, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound junior and all-conference pick last year, finished the 2011 season with 48 tackles, a pair of interceptions and one pass broken up.
“Last year it was All-Big Sky, and next year, All-American,” Lee said during spring drills earlier this year.
Indeed, Lee has already been named to the Beyond Sports College Network Preseason All-America team, and the Phil Steele FCS Preview rated him as the 12th-best cornerback in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.
Other Eagles selected to the Big Sky team are offensive tackle Will Post and wide receivers Nicholas Edwards and Brandon Kaufman.
Lee joined Montana State defensive tackle Zach Minter and Bobcat linebacker Jody Owens as unanimous selections on the 31-player team. The squad was chosen by selected media and sports information directors in the league.
Montana State led the newly expanded, 13-team conference with six all-league picks, followed by EWU and Cal Davis with four each.
A year ago, Post achieved all-conference honors and was named to the All-Academic team for the third straight year. The 6-6, 295-pounder missed Eastern’s first two games of the season with an ankle injury, but returned to start the last nine games at right offensive tackle for an injury-plagued offensive line.
Edwards was a consensus 2011 All-American last year after the former walk-on caught a school-record 95 passes for 1,250 yards and 19 touchdowns to lead FCS. He enters his senior season with career totals of 178 catches for 2,198 yards and 29 TDs.
Kaufman, who along with Edwards helped lead the Eagles to the 2010 national title, was an All-American in 2010 before redshirting in 2011 as an injury hardship.
Recently, Edwards was selected to The Sports Network Preseason All-America first team, and Kaufman was named to the third team.
Along with senior Greg Herd – a second-team All-Big Sky pick a year ago – all three starting receivers for Eastern have earned All-America honors.
Edwards and EWU head coach Beau Baldwin are in Park City for the Summer Kickoff, which includes media interviews, announcements and administrative meetings.