July 20, 2011

Targeted Eagles Head Into 2011 Season With Unprecedented Respect

Some publications have Eagles picked to repeat as national champions, which only makes the target on their back grow larger

The preseason picks are in, and the target has only grown larger on the backs of the Eastern Washington University football program.

The defending NCAA Division I Champions have been selected No. 1 by three publications and websites, and no lower than third in the other three. In addition, 12 Eagle players have earned preseason accolades of some kind, including six who have received All-America recognition at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision level.

The quest for another national title begins Aug. 8 and 9 when players report for preseason practices, with Eastern’s first team practice slated for the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 10. The Eagles open the season Sept. 3 at Washington from the Pac-10 Conference in a game that will be televised live regionally on Root Sports, beginning at 4 p.m. Pacific time.

The Washington game starts a string of three-straight road games to begin the season, including a Sept. 17 visit to perennial national power Montana. The Eagles follow that with their home opener on Sept. 24 versus Montana State, the team the Eagles shared the Big Sky Conference title with a year ago.

Montana is ranked as high as eighth in the FCS preseason predictions, while MSU is as high as fourth. Eastern also plays on the road at Sacramento State (Oct. 22) and Cal Poly (Nov. 12), and those two talented teams are ranked as high as 10th and 11th, respectively, in the polls.

“The reality is our opponents will be up for us more than they ever have before,” Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin said. “All of a sudden, now we will see their very best efforts every Saturday. We have a tough task ahead of us. Week-by-week, every game will be tough.”

 

The Target on Their Back . . . .

Where various preseason publications and websites pick the Eagles to finish, as well as EWU’s 2011 and 2010 opponents and other FCS schools ranked in the top 5 in any of the polls.

 
 

 

School


Sporting
News



Lindy’s



Athlon


Phil
Steele

AnyGiven
Saturday.
com

Southern/
Pigskin.
com

2010 Final
Sports Network
Ranking

Eastern Washington

1

2

3

2

1

1

1

Montana - 9/17

8

13

19

12

12

13

20

Montana State - 9/24

5

5

4

8

6

6

11

Sacramento State - 10/22

 
 

15

10

 
 
 

Cal Poly - 11/12

 
 
 
 

20

11

24

Delaware (2010)

7

4

6

6

5

5

2

Villanova (2010)

 

10

17t

 

13

21

3

North Dakota State (2010)

 

14

11

20

8

10

9

Southeast Missouri (2010)

 

16

 
 

22

19

13

Southern Utah (2010)

16

 
 

24

 

22

 

William & Mary

2

6

2

1

3

3

10

Appalachian State

3t

1

5

5

4

4

4

Northern Iowa

3t

7

10

4

9

8

 

Georgia Southern

6

3

1

3

2

2

5

 
 
 

PRESEASON INDIVIDUAL ACCOLADES

 

#1 - Brandon Kaufman - WR - 6-5 - 215 - Jr. - 2L - Denver, Colo. (Heritage HS ’09)

The Sports Network Walter Payton Award Watch List (one of 20 candidates for the award given to the top offensive player in FCS)

College Sporting News All-America First Team

Athlon All-America First Team

Phil Steele FCS Preview All-America First Team

The Sports Network All-America Second Team

The Sports Network Preseason List of Top FCS Players by Position (top 10 wide receivers)

College Football Performance Awards Preseason FCS Watch List (top 38 wide receivers)

All-Big Sky Conference Team

Phil Steele FCS Preview All-Big Sky Conference First Team

 

#9 - Bo Levi Mitchell - QB - 6-2 - 210 - Sr. - 1L - Katy, Texas (Katy HS ’08 / Southern Methodist)

The Sports Network Walter Payton Award Watch List (one of 20 candidates for the award given to the top offensive player in FCS)

Lindy’s FCS Offensive Player of the Year

Consensus Draft Services Preseason All-America First Team

Lindy’s All-America Second Team

Lindy’s Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Year

The Sports Network Preseason List of Top FCS Players by Position (top 10 quarterbacks)

College Football Performance Awards Preseason FCS Watch List (top 38 quarterbacks)

Phil Steele FCS Preview All-Big Sky Conference Second Team

 

#98 - Renard Williams - DL - 6-2 - 300 - Sr. - 3L* - Port Orchard, Wash. (South Kitsap HS ’07)

The Sports Network Buck Buchanan Award Watch List (top defensive player in FCS)

College Sporting News All-America First Team

Athlon All-America First Team

Consensus Draft Services Preseason All-America First Team

The Sports Network All-America Second Team

Lindy’s All-America Second Team

Phil Steele FCS Preview All-America First Team

Sporting News Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year

The Sports Network Preseason List of Top FCS Players by Position (top 10 defensive linemen)

College Football Performance Awards Preseason FCS Watch List (top 40 defensive linemen)

All-Big Sky Conference Team

 

#5 - Matt Johnson - DB - 6-2 - 220 - Sr. - 3L* - Tumwater, Wash. (Tumwater HS ’07)

The Sports Network Buck Buchanan Award Watch List (top defensive player in FCS)

The Sports Network All-America First Team

Athlon All-America First Team

College Sporting News All-America Second Team

Lindy’s All-America Second Team

Phil Steele FCS Preview All-America Second Team

The Sports Network Preseason List of Top FCS Players by Position (top 10 defensive backs)

College Football Performance Awards Preseason FCS Watch List (top 30 defensive backs)

All-Big Sky Conference Team

Phil Steele FCS Preview All-Big Sky Conference First Team

 

#78 - Chris Powers - OL - 6-2 - 285 - Sr. - 2L* - Black Diamond, Wash. (Tahoma HS ’07)

The Sports Network All-America First Team

College Sporting News All-America First Team

Lindy’s All-America First Team

Athlon All-America First Team

Phil Steele FCS Preview All-America First Team

The Sports Network Preseason List of Top FCS Players by Position (top 10 offensive linemen)

All-Big Sky Conference Team

Phil Steele FCS Preview All-Big Sky Conference First Team

 

#10 - Zach Johnson - LB - 6-1 - 225 - Sr. - 2L* - Tumwater, Wash. (Tumwater HS ’07)

The Sports Network All-America Third Team

College Football Performance Awards Preseason FCS Watch List (top 41 linebackers)

All-Big Sky Conference Team

Phil Steele FCS Preview All-Big Sky Conference First Team

 

#60 - Gabriel Jackson - OL - 6-4 - 280 - Sr. - 3L* - Tacoma, Wash. (Mount Tahoma HS ’07)

Consensus Draft Services Preseason All-America Honorable Mention

All-Big Sky Conference Team

Phil Steele FCS Preview All-Big Sky Conference Second Team

 

#7 - Jeff Minnerly - DB - 6-1 - 200 - Jr. - 2L*  - Spokane, Wash. (Ferris HS ’08)

All-Big Sky Conference Team

Phil Steele FCS Preview All-Big Sky Conference First Team

 

#30 - Darriell Beaumonte - RB- 6-0 - 210 - Sr. - 3L* - Lakewood, Wash. (Clover Park HS ’07)

All-Big Sky Conference Team (special teams)

 

#25 - Mario Brown - RB - 5-9 - 185 - So. - 1L - Berkeley, Calif. (Bishop O'Dowd HS '10)

Phil Steele FCS Preview All-Big Sky Conference Second Team

 

#70 - Steven Forgette - OL - 6-4 - 280 - So. - 1L* - Vancouver, Wash. (Heritage HS ’09)

Phil Steele FCS Preview All-Big Sky Conference Second Team

 

#11 - Nicholas Edwards - WR - 6-3 - 200 - Jr. - 2L* - Tacoma, Wash. (Foss HS ’08)

Phil Steele FCS Preview All-Big Sky Conference Second Team

 

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