Trio Earns D3football.com Honors
E&H's Sproles, W&L's Pelton, H-SC's Morgan Secure Preseason Awards
FOREST, Va. --- A trio of ODAC defensive standouts were tabbed as 2012 Preseason All-Americans by D3football.com today, including reigning ODAC Defensive Player of the Year Devan Sproles (pictured) from Emory & Henry College. Joining Sproles on the first team is Washington and Lee University safety Jake Pelton, while Hampden-Sydney College cornerback Zach Morgan was slotted to the second team.
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Sproles, a senior from Norton, Va., was the motor that kept Emory & Henry's defense running as he led the conference in total tackles with 107 stops. An All-ODAC First Team honoree, Sproles made 40 solo tackles and also posted a league-best 67 assisted tackles. He finished the season second in the conference in interceptions with six (H-SC's Zach Morgan with 7), thanks in part to a three-interception effort in the final game of the season against Guilford College. It marked the first time any ODAC student-athlete intercepted three passes in a game since 2007 (CUA's Nick Olivero vs. E&H). Sproles had 10 or more tackles in six games this season, with a season-high 15 stops against UVA-Wise. He never had fewer than eight tackles in a contest. He won two Player of the Week awards, including the final honor of the season. In his first three years, Sproles has racked up 199 total tackles (83 solo, 116 assists).
Pelton, a senior from Charlottesville, Va., is a three-year letterwinner and a 2012 team captain. Pelton earned Honorable Mention All-America laurels by the same website last fall when he started all 10 games and finished second on the team and sixth in the ODAC with 76 tackles. A First Team All-ODAC and First Team All-South Region honoree, he added seven pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions. Pelton also started all 11 games as a sophomore in 2010, earning First Team All-ODAC and Second Team All-South Region honors. For his career, he has played in all 31 games, totaling 180 tackles, 13 pass breakups and eight interceptions.
Morgan, a junior from Virginia Beach, Va., led the ODAC with seven interceptions in 2011, spearheading tied with Emory & Henry for tops in the conference with 20 total interceptions. Morgan ranked 11th in the league with 67 tackles, including 52 solo stops, which placed second on the conference charts. He also broke up an ODAC second-best seven passes (tied with Pelton).
For more information on ODAC football, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don't forget to follow the ODAC on Twitter at @odacathletics, and become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook.