DURHAM, N.C. - The Winston-Salem State University Rams were picked to repeat as Southern Division Champs, and are the favorites to win the CIAA Crown, and seven Ram players were selected to the preseason All-CIAA team.
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) in conjunction with the CIAA Football Coaches Association released the Predicted Order of Finish and Preseason Teams on Thursday afternoon at CIAA Football Media Day held in Durham, NC.
Fayetteville State was tabbed to finish second in the Southern Division, followed by Shaw University, Johnson C. smith, St. Augustine's and Livingstone.
In the Northern Division, Virginia State was selected to repeated as division champs, followed by Elizabeth City State, Bowie State, Chowan University, Virginia Union and The Lincoln University.
Winston-Salem State is coming off of a season were they finished 10-2 overall, 7-0 in the CIAA and made it to at least the second round of the NCAA DII Playoffs for the third consecutive season. The Rams have won 24 consecutive games against CIAA competition.
WSSU led the CIAA preseason All-CIAA selections with seven, headed by quarterback Rudy Johnson (QB, Sr, 6-2, 205, San Diego, CA/Texas Southern). Joining Johnson was Chase Powell (WR, So, 5-8, 175, Upper Marlboro, MD/Dr. Henry A. Wise), Michael Sabb (OL, Sr, 6-4, 295, Raleigh, NC/Wakefield), Justin Kee (OL, Jr, 6-2, 320, Suffolk, VA/Norfolk St.), Casey Davenport (DL, Sr, 6-2, 245, Baltimore, MD/Forest Park), Danny Bunn (FS/LB, Jr, 5-11, 210, Smithfield, NC/UNC) and Everett Proctor (FS, Jr, 6-1, 210, Fayetteville, NC/NC State).
Rudy Johnson was the first team All-CIAA quarterback in 2013, as he completed 177 of 280 passes for 2, 401 yards and 25 touchdowns, while rushing for 487 yards and six scores. Michael Sabb was also a first team selection in '13. Chase Powell was the 2013 Offensive Rookie of the Year, as he caught a team high 64 passes for 770 yards and seven touchdowns. Powell also led the team with 17.8 yards per return on kickoffs. Casey Davenport was a second team All-CIAA pick last season, as he finished with 28 tackles, 11 tackles or a loss, six sacks and six quarterback hurries.
Winston-Salem State University will open the season at home on September 6th, when they host the Braves of UNC Pembroke at 6:00 p.m.