Preseason Football Awards Piling Up for Terry Allen's Bears
As the Missouri State football Bears prepare to open camp next Wednesday (August 4), the program is starting to compile an impressive list of preseason honors from various publications and media sources.
On Monday (July 26), The Sports Network named two Bears to its Preseason All-America Team. Seniors David Arkin (OT, Wichita, Kan.) and Antoine Wilkinson (LB, Magnolia, Miss.) were two of 11 Missouri Valley Football Conference players named to the Division I FCS squad. Arkin, a three-time All-MVFC selection, was named to The Sports Network's Preseason All-America First Team, while Wilkinson was named to the Third Team.
Earlier in the summer, Arkin was selected as a Preseason All-American by Phil Steele's College Football Preview (first team), The Sporting News (first team), and Consensus Draft Services (honorable mention).
Wilkinson, the MVFC Newcomer of the Year in 2009, was also named as an honorable mention preseason All-American by Phil Steele and Consensus Draft Services.
Even though the official Missouri Valley Football Conference preseason all-conference teams and league poll won't be announced until Monday, August 2, the Bears have also earned some team distinction in the preseason publications. Lindy's College Football lists the Bears at No. 21 in its preseason Division I FCS poll, while on the Any Given Sunday preseason poll, MSU was listed among others receiving votes.
Early conference predictors have Missouri State tabbed to finish anywhere from third (Lindy's) to fifth (Sporting News, Any Given Sunday, Phil Steele).
Steele's College Football Preview also named 11 Bears to its MVFC preseason all-conference squad. On Steele's preseason all-conference first team are Arkin, Wilkinson and Waylon Richardet (DE, Perryville, Mo.), while seven players -- Cody Kirby (QB, Rogers, Ark.), Chris Douglas (TB, Lawrenceville, Ga.), Jake Duron (OT, Springdale, Ark.), Michael Keck (LB, Harrisonville, Mo.), Adam Beauchamp (LB, Prescott Valley, Ariz.), Derek Miller (FS, Olathe, Kan.), Skylar Smith (SS, Springfield, Mo.) and Jordan Chiles (P, Hillsboro, Ill.) -- were tabbed as second-teamers in Steele's MVFC preseason list.
The Bears return 17 starters, 41 lettermen and 61 squad members from a 6-5 team in 2009 that tied for fifth in the nine-team Missouri Valley Football Conference. Coach Terry Allen kicks off his fifth season at the helm of Missouri State on Thursday, Sept. 2 at Plaster Field when MSU hosts Eastern Kentucky at 6 p.m. Season ticket packages are available now by calling (417) 836-7678.