T.J. Lee is Unanimous Preseason All-Big Sky Pick
Cornerback joins offensive tackle Will Post and wide receivers Brandon Kaufman and Nicholas Edwards on squad
Eastern Washington University junior cornerback T.J. Lee III was a unanimous selection as the Eagles placed four players on the preseason All-Big Sky Conference team released Sunday (July 15) in at the Big Sky Summer Kickoff in Park City, Utah.
Lee was joined on the team by senior offensive tackle Will Post, senior wide receiver Nicholas Edwards and junior wide receiver Brandon Kaufman.
Edwards and EWU head coach Beau Baldwin are in Park City for the Summer Kickoff, which includes media interviews, announcements and administrative meetings. The media and coaches preseason polls will be announced on Monday, as well as the unveiling of a new Big Sky Conference logo as four new members join the league this coming school year.
Lee (Seattle, Wash. - West Seattle HS ’09) joined Montana State defensive tackle Zach Minter and Bobcat linebacker Jody Owens as the lone unanimous selections on the 31-player team. The squad was chosen by selected media and sports information directors in the league.
The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Lee was a first team All-Big Sky selection a year ago, finishing the season with 48 tackles, a pair of interceptions and one pass broken up. Earlier this summer, he was named to the Beyond Sports College Network Preseason All-America team, and the Phil Steele FCS Preview rated him as the 12th-ranked cornerback in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.
A year ago, Post earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors and was named to the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team for the third-straight year. The 6-6, 295-pound Post 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 offensive line ravaged by injuries during the season. Despite having three offensive linemen lost early in the season with injuries and a total of 10 players receiving starts at that position, he helped EWU lead the FCS in passing yards per game (368.5) and rank seventh overall in total offense (447.4).
Post (Portland, Ore. - Southridge High School ’08), enters his senior season with 22 career starts for the Eagles to rank third among offensive players. Earlier this summer, he was listed No. 34 among all FCS offensive tackles by Phil Steele’s FCS College Football Preview.
Edwards (Tacoma, Wash. – Foss HS ’08) was a consensus 2011 All-American a year ago 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 NCAA Division I Championship, was an All-American in 2010 before redshirting in 2011 as an injury hardship. He had 76 catches for 1,214 yards and 15 touchdowns as sophomore in 2010, and managed 29 grabs for 373 yards and a TD before his 2011 season came to a close with hand and knee injuries. He has 128 catches for 1,881 yards and 17 scores in his career.
Recently, Edwards was selected to The Sports Network Preseason All-America first team, and Kaufman was named to the third team. Edwards has also been selected to four other preseason All-America teams, and is listed as high as the No. 2 receiver in FCS by various organizations which cover college football. Kaufman was named on one other All-America squad and is rated as high as sixth nationally at receiver.
Along with senior Greg Herd (Tacoma, Wash. – Steilacoom HS ’09) – a second team All-Big Sky pick a year ago -- all three starting receivers for Eastern have earned All-America accolades and have 1,000-yard seasons in their careers. They have combined for 99 games worth of experience (69 starts), and have collective totals of 405 catches for 5,475 yards and 56 touchdowns.
The Eagles begin practices for the 2012 season on Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 3 p.m. at Roos Field. Eastern opens its season Aug. 30 at Idaho and plays at Washington State a week later on Sept. 8. Eastern’s home opener at Roos Field is against Big Sky Conference rival Montana on Sept. 29.