NASHVILLE - The Tennessee State football team was picked to finish sixth in the Preseason Media Poll for the Ohio Valley Conference, while redshirt-junior defensive end, Ebo Ogundeko was selected as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
The Tigers received 60 total points, behind Jacksonville State (135), Eastern Kentucky (111), Eastern Illinois (105), UT Martin (93) and Southeast Missouri (63). TSU is picked to finish ahead of Murray State (52), Tennessee Tech (37) and Austin Peay (19).
Tennessee State is coming off their first non-winning season since 2011 after finishing 4-6, 1-6 in the OVC. Head coach Rod Reed enters his seventh season and will rely on 65 returners from last year's team, including six offensive and eight defensive starters.
Ogundeko collected 52 tackles in his first season with the Tigers after transferring from Clemson. The redshirt-junior registered 10 tackles-for-loss and five sacks, while forcing a fumble and picking up three quarterback hurry’s. The Brooklyn, N.Y. native was the lone Tiger to earn First Team All-OVC honors for in 2015.
The Tigers will report for fall camp on Aug. 4 in preparation for the John Merritt Classic on Sept. 3.
2016 Media OVC Preseason Football Predicted Order of Finish
1. Jacksonville State (15 first-place votes) - 135 points
2. Eastern Kentucky - 111
3. Eastern Illinois - 105
4. UT Martin - 93
5. Southeast Missouri - 63
6. Tennessee State - 60
7. Murray State - 52
8. Tennessee Tech – 37
9. Austin Peay - 19
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Eli Jenkins (QB), Jacksonville State
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Ebenezer Ogundeko (DE), Tennessee State