Courtesy of the SIAC
The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) has announced their All-SIAC preseason football team featuring 26 returning players from the 2022 SIAC Football All-Conference team.
This year’s preseason team is led by Fort Valley State’s Kelvin Durham who was selected as this year’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year alongside Loobert Denelus, Benedict College, who was tabbed as the 2023 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year announced Wednesday during the league’s media day in Atlanta, Ga.
All nominations and votes are submitted by head coaches and sports information directors.
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Kelvin Durham| Fort Valley State University | Quarterback | R-Sophomore | Homestead, FL
In his second season directing the FVSU offense, Durham achieved notable accolades such as the SIAC Newcomer of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and a spot on the All-SIAC 1st Team as a quarterback. His exceptional performance propelled him to the top ranks in various offensive categories within the SIAC.
Leading the league in passing touchdowns and total offense yards with 2,252 yards, he proved to be an essential asset for his team. Durham consistently displayed his prowess, ranking second in total offense per game with an average of 225.2 yards, as well as in total offense touchdowns (19), passing yards (1,994 yards), and pass completions (147).
His passing accuracy was commendable, completing 147 of 242 passes, resulting in 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Throughout the season, he accumulated a total of 1,994 passing yards with a completion rate of 60.74%. Additionally, he showcased his versatility by rushing 44 times for 258 yards and scoring three touchdowns, averaging an impressive 5.9 yards per carry.
Notably, Durham had six games where he passed for 198 or more yards, consistently making an impact on the field. Among his standout performances, he had a remarkable game against Allen, completing 20 of 32 passes for a season-high 334 yards, with three touchdowns. In another remarkable display of his skills, he went 15-of-25 for 255 yards and threw five touchdowns, while also rushing 6 times for 60 yards against Morehouse.
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Loobert Denelus| Benedict College|Defensive Lineman | Senior | Naples, FL
In the 2022 season, Denelus was recognized as the SIAC Defensive Player of the Year and earned a spot on the AFCA All-American team, solidifying his status as one of the top defensive players in the league. His impact was evident in his outstanding rankings in crucial defensive categories.
He led the SIAC and ranked fifth in Division II in sacks per game, averaging an impressive 1.17 sacks per game. Additionally, Denelus showcased his ability to disrupt opposing offenses by ranking second in the SIAC and ninth in Division II in tackles for loss (TFL) per game, with an average of 1.8 TFL per game.
As a leader of the Benedict defense, he played an instrumental role in their success. Under his guidance, the defense held opponents to an average of just 12.9 points per game, making them the top-ranked defense in the SIAC and fourth in Division II. Furthermore, their total defense was formidable, allowing only 248.2 yards per game, ranking them first in the SIAC and seventh in Division II.
This year’s season is highlighted with a modified eight-game conference schedule which will allow each of the 13 SIAC football teams to face the remaining eight member institutions twice during a four-year period.
Benedict has been predicted to dominate the league and repeat as SIAC Champions and potentially face Albany State in the championship game scheduled for November 11, according to a preseason poll voted on by head coaches and sports information directors.
Led by 2022 SIAC and AFCA Region 2 Coach of the Year, Chennis Berry, the Tigers of BC made a historic run last year with an undefeated regular season culminating in their first-ever SIAC football title. They overwhelmed Tuskegee with a commanding 58-21 victory and made their first-ever playoff appearance. The Tigers boasted the nation’s longest winning streak at 13 games, dating back to the previous season, and showcased a solid defense that ranked seventh nationally in total defense and third in passing yards allowed.
Albany State makes a triumphant return as a top contender in this year’s preseason poll under the guidance of their new head coach, Quinn Gray, Sr. The Golden Rams concluded their 2022 campaign with a solid overall record of 7-3 and a conference record of 5-2.
2023 SIAC Football Preseason Rankings
- Albany State
- Fort Valley State
- Savannah State
- Edward Waters
- Central State
- Clark Atlanta
- Kentucky State
2023 SIAC Football Preseason Awards
|Preseason Offensive Player of the Year||Preseason Defensive Player of the Year|
|Kelvin Durham, Fort Valley State||Loobert Denelus, Benedict|
2023 SIAC Football Preseason Teams
|Offensive Lineman||Josh Simon||Albany State||Senior||Atlanta, GA|
|Offensive Lineman||Kyle Frazier||Savannah State||Junior||Augusta, GA|
|Offensive Lineman||Riyon Adams||Savannah State||Junior||Vidalia, GA|
|Offensive Lineman||Kyle Frazier||Savannah State||Junior||Augusta, GA|
|Offensive Lineman||Jemeil Jackson||Fort Valley State||Junior||Hampton, GA|
|Tight End||Gentry Sparks||Fort Valley State||Junior||Tallahassee, FL|
|Wide Receiver||Jacquez Jones||Lane||Junior||Orlando, FL|
|Wide Receiver||Corintheus Edmonds||Fort Valley State||Senior||Atlanta, GA|
|Running Back||Noah Zaire Scotland||Benedict||Sophomore||Walhalla, S.C.|
|Running Back||Shamarcus Poole||Savannah State||Junior||Sandersville, GA|
|Quarterback||Kelvin Durham||Fort Valley State||Sophomore||Homestead, FL|
|Defensive Lineman||Tim Alderman||Fort Valley State||Junior||Fort Valley, GA|
|Defensive Lineman||Loobert Denelus||Benedict||Senior||Naples, FL|
|Defensive Lineman||Jeremy Dees||Tuskegee||Senior||Evergreen, AL|
|Defensive Lineman||Mike White||Central State||Sophomore||Springfield, OH|
|Linebacker||Vincent Hill||Tuskegee||Sophomore||Fairburn, GA|
|Linebacker||Jalil Lenore||Central State||Sophomore||Chicago, IL|
|Linebacker||Kentrell Lawson||Fort Valley State||Junior||Marianna, FL|
|Defensive Back||Zelly Aldridge||Tuskegee||Junior||Gallon, AL|
|Defensive Back||Jaree Turner||Albany State||Junior||Ocala, FL|
|Defensive Back||Walter Tatum||Lane||Junior||Notasulga, AL|
|Defensive Back||Landon Austin||Fort Valley State||Sophomore||Montezuma, GA|
|Kicker||Noah Shalz||Lane||Sophomore||Smyrna, TN|
|Punter||Ryan Duff||Tuskegee||Senior||Mobile, AL|
|Punt Returner||Hakeem Ellington||Fort Valley State||Senior||Summerville, S.C.|
|Kick Returner||Jaylin Peterson||Miles||Junior||Birmingham, AL|
|Offensive Lineman||Eric Blair||Miles||Senior||Miami, FL|
|Offensive Lineman||Tyler Lowery||Miles||Senior||Evergreen, AL|
|Offensive Lineman||Mitchell Romig||Benedict||Junior||Jacksonville, FL|
|Offensive Lineman||Roger Smith||Benedict||Sophomore||Cleveland, OH|
|Offensive Lineman||Dylan Lampkin||Edward Waters||Senior||Jacksonville, FL|
|Tight End||Henry Calixte||Lane||Sophomore||Orlando, FL|
|Wide Receiver||Brandon Brock||Central State||Senior||Norfolk, VA|
|Wide Receiver||Antonio Meeks||Tuskegee||Sophomore||Lilburn, GA|
|Running Back||Kamran Ward||Albany State||Sophomore||Oscilla, GA|
|Running Back||Deondra Duehart||Benedict||Sophomore||Macon, GA|
|Quarterback||Dionte Bonneau||Albany State||Junior||Atlanta, GA|
|Defensive Lineman||Jayden Broughton||Benedict||Junior||Monks Corner, S.C.|
|Defensive Lineman||Aaron Miller||Benedict||Junior||Decatur, GA|
|Defensive Lineman||Roosevelt Thompson||Miles||Junior||Dixon Mills, AL|
|Defensive Lineman||Jalen Pugh||Albany State||Sophomore||Jonesboro, GA|
|Linebacker||Dialo Mosley||Fort Valley State||Sophomore||Atlanta, GA|
|Linebacker||Gary Bourrage||Allen||Senior||Kemper, MS|
|Linebacker||Dedrick Starkes||Benedict||Junior||Columbia, S.C.|
|Defensive Back||Joshua Heyward||Benedict||Junior||Johns Island, S.C.|
|Defensive Back||Dartrelle Rolle||Edward Waters||Senior||Miami, FL|
|Defensive Back||Graderius Brown||Miles||Junior||Linden, AL|
|Defensive Back||Antonio Kennon Jr.||Tuskegee||Junior||Atlanta, GA|
|Kicker||Kenneth Lockhart||Savannah State||Senior||Hinesville, GA|
|Punter||Ishmael Sanders||Edward Waters||Senior||Jacksonville, FL|
|Punt Returner||Rashad Jordan||Albany State||Senior||Atlanta, GA|
|Kick Returner||Justin Harris||Fort Valley State||Junior||Fort Valley, GA|