DENTON, Texas (7/23/07) - The University of North Texas has placed four football players on the 2007 Sun Belt Conference preseason all-conference team, the league announced Monday. Senior defensive end Jeremiah Chapman, senior linebacker Maurice Holman, senior safety Aaron Weathers, and junior punter Truman Spencer are all part of the elite list that was voted on by Sun Belt head coaches and members of the media.
“It is a tremendous honor and a credit to the dedication that these young men have to helping this program succeed,” head coach Todd Dodge said. “They are the leaders that will help us begin the process of bringing North Texas football back to its rightful place in the Sun Belt Conference.”
Only Louisiana-Monroe and Middle Tennessee had more players named to the preseason team with each school placing five on the list. Troy quarterback Omar Haugabook was tabbed the preseason Offensive Player of the Year while Arkansas State safety Tyrell Johnson earned the Defensive Player of the Year honor.
Chapman has played in 33 of 35 games since coming to North Texas, starting 23 of those games. He was a second team all-conference selection in 2006 and his 22 career tackles for a loss rank second among all current Sun Belt players. Holman is a two-time all-conference selection and his 179 career tackles lead all current Sun Belt linebackers.
Weathers was an honorable mention all-Sun Belt performer in 2006 and his 191 career tackles ranks second among all current players in the league. Spencer is the top returning punter in the Sun Belt, averaging 40.8 yards per attempt when he was a second team all-conference selection last year.
Sun Belt coaches and media also voted on the preseason poll, predicting North Texas to finish seventh in the league standings. The Mean Green totaled 22 points in the voting which was 12 points ahead of Florida International. Troy is the favorite to win the conference, receiving 59 points and five of the league’s eight first-place votes.
North Texas and Florida International are both beginning the 2007 season with new head coaches. The Mean Green finished the 2006 season in seventh place after a 3-9 overall record and a 2-6 conference mark.
North Texas begins the 2007 season at Oklahoma on Sept. 1. First-year head coach Todd Dodge’s first home game will also be the conference-opener against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 22.
To view the complete preseason all-conference team and the preseason poll, go to: www.sunbeltsports.org