SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Georgia Southern defensive linemen Brent Russell (Comer, Ga.) and Ameet Pall (Wofford) were tabbed Preseason Co-Defensive Players of the Year for the 2011 season, as announced Monday by the Southern Conference. Wofford fullback Eric Breitenstein earned the most votes to claim preseason Offensive Player of the Year accolades. The SoCon head coaches selected the preseason All-Conference teams with Georgia Southern leading all schools with 14 selections, including eight on the first team.

Russell, selected to the initial Buck Buchanan Award watch list for this upcoming season, posted 71 tackles for Georgia Southern in 2010.  A first-team Associated Press All-American last season, Russell helped anchor one of the top defenses in the FCS last year as the Eagles ranked among the nation's leaders in total defense (ninth), pass defense (11th) and scoring defense (11th).

Pall was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 2010.  The Montreal, Quebec, native recorded 60 tackles on the defensive line for the Terriers and ranked eighth nationally in both sacks (12.5) and tackles for loss (22.5).

Breitenstein scored 22 touchdowns and led the league and ranked fifth in the nation with 1,639 rushing yards last season. The Terriers boasted the top rushing attack in all of FCS last season with 297.7 yards per game on the ground.

Eight Eagles earned first-team honors with Derek Heyden (Atlanta, Ga.), Josh Rowe (Opelika, Ala.), Russell and Laron Scott (Warner Robins, Ga.) representing Georgia Southern on defense. Senior offensive lineman Brett Moore (Warner Robins, Ga.) and sophomore running back Robert Brown (Macon, Ga.) were named to the first team offense.

The second team consisted of four Georgia Southern offensive players with sophomore Dorian Byrd (Macon, Ga.) and senior Willie Maxwell (Quitman, Ga.) taking two spots on the all-Conference second team offensive line.  Slotback J.J. Wilcox (Cairo, Ga.) and tight end Tyler Sumner (Pooler, Ga.) were also selected for honors. The All-Conference second-team defensive unit included senior defensive tackle Roderick Tinsley (Soperton, Ga.).

On special teams, punter Charlie Edwards (Tifton, Ga.) and Scott, at return specialist, were named to the first team while Adrian Mora (Dalton, Ga.) was tabbed for the second team at placekicker.

The 2011 Southern Conference football season begins Thursday, September 1 when Western Carolina visits Georgia Tech.  The league's eight other teams hit the field Saturday, September 3, including a conference game between Georgia Southern and Samford. 

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2011 Southern Conference Football
Preseason All-Conference Teams

Offensive Player of the Year:
Eric Breitenstein, Jr., FB, Wofford

Co-Defensive Players of the Year:
Ameet Pall, Sr., DL, Wofford & Brent Russell, Jr., DL, Georgia Southern

First Team Offense

QB   DeAndre Presley, Sr., Appalachian State
RB   Robert Brown, So, Georgia Southern
RB   Eric Breitenstein, Jr., Wofford
OL    Orry Frye, Sr., Appalachian State
OL    Rodney Austin, Sr., Elon
OL    Ryan Lee, Sr., Furman
OL    Brett Moore, Sr., Georgia Southern
OL    Nate Page, Sr., Wofford
TE    Ben Jorden, Sr., Appalachian State
WR  Aaron Mellette, Jr., Elon
WR  Joel Bradford, Sr., Chattanooga

First Team Defense
DL    John Rizor, Jr., Appalachian State
DL    Brent Russell, Jr., Georgia Southern
DL    Alex Davis, Sr., Samford
DL    Ameet Pall, Sr., Wofford
LB    Kadarron Anderson, Sr., Furman
LB    Josh Rowe, Jr., Georgia Southern
LB    Ryan Consiglio, Sr., Chattanooga
DB   Ed Gainey, Sr., Appalachian State
DB   Ryan Steed, Sr., Furman
DB   Derek Heyden, Sr., Georgia Southern
DB   Laron Scott, Sr., Georgia Southern

First Team Specialists
PK    Ray Early, So., Furman
P      Charlie Edwards, Sr., Georgia Southern
RS   Laron Scott, Sr., Georgia Southern

Second Team Offense
QB   B.J. Coleman, Jr., Chattanooga
RB   Travaris Cadet, Sr., Appalachian State
RB   J.J. Wilcox, Jr., Georgia Southern
OL    Matt Ruff, Sr., Appalachian State
OL    Dakota Dozier, So., Furman
OL    Dorian Byrd, So., Georgia Southern
OL    Willie Maxwell, Sr., Georgia Southern
OL    Adam Miller, Jr., Chattanooga
TE    (tie) Colin Anderson, Jr., Furman
TE    (tie) Tyler Sumner, Jr., Georgia Southern
WR  Brian Quick, Sr., Appalachian State
WR  Brenton Bersin, Sr., Wofford

Second Team Defense
DL    Josh Lynn, Jr., Furman
DL    Roderick Tinsley, Sr., Georgia Southern
DL    Nick Davidson, Sr., Chattanooga
DL    Eric Eberhardt, Sr., Wofford
LB    Brandon Grier, Jr., Appalachian State
LB    Tolu Akindele, Sr., The Citadel
LB    Joshua Jones, Sr., Elon
DB   Corey White, Sr., Samford
DB   Chris Lewis-Harris, Sr., Chattanooga
DB   Kadeem Wise, So., Chattanooga
DB   Blake Wylie, Jr., Wofford

Second Team Specialists
PK   Adrian Mora, Sr., Georgia Southern
P      Sam Martin, Jr., Appalachian State
RS   Travaris Cadet, Sr., Appalachian State