ATLANTA — Central State University offensive lineman Darius Thomas was selected as a Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) preseason second team selection, July 11, during the league’s Media Day at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
During the 2016 season as a freshman, Thomas was 6-feet tall and weighed 250 pounds. He played his high school football at Cincinnati’s Winton Woods High School. He was the only CSU player to be selected to the preseason SIAC football team.
Quarterback Johnathan McCrary of Clark Atlanta University was named the SIAC’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, and linebacker Osband Thompson of Tuskegee University was selected as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
All votes were submitted by SIAC head coaches and sports information directors.
McCrary, a redshirt senior from Decatur, Ga., completed 142-of-256 passes for 1,903 yards and averaged 211.4 yards per game last season. In his first year in the SIAC, McCrary led the league with 14 touchdown passes. In the come-from-behind victory over Morehouse (Oct. 1) he set SIAC single-game highs with 456 passing yards and five touchdowns.
Central State will take on Clark Atlanta on Sept. 9 in Atlanta, in Week 2 of the season.
Thompson recorded 137 tackles in 2016 for the Golden Tigers who advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs for the second consecutive year. The Miami, Fla. native totaled 67 solo tackles on the year, including 11.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He also forced three fumbles, intercepted one pass, recorded four pass breakups and three quarterback hurries. Thompson was also the 2016 SIAC Defensive Player of the Year and Division 2 Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) Super Region 2 Defensive Player of the Year.
The Marauders won’t see Thompson or his Tuskegee University teammates until Week 9 of the 2017 college football regular season on Oct. 28 in Tuskegee, Ala.
Tuskegee was picked to win the west division with 75 points and 11 first-place votes in the preseason poll. Miles (60) was voted second, ahead of Kentucky State (48), Lane (37), and Central State (21).
Albany State was the preseason favorite in the east division with 65 points and six first-place votes. Fort Valley State earned 55 points followed by Benedict (52), Clark Atlanta (42), and Morehouse (26).
The 2017 football season begins Sept. 2 for Thomas and the rest of the Central State Marauders. That’s when they’ll host Elizabeth City State University at 1 p.m. Saturday at McPherson Memorial Stadium on the CSU campus in Wilberforce.
Tickets for all CSU events are available at: centralstate.universitytickets.com .
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.