JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman opens the season ranked 17th and running back Brandon Baker (Miami, Fla.) garnered preseason first team All-America honors in D2Football.com's preseason poll and player rankings.
Carson-Newman also begins the season ranked 17th in the AFCA coaches' poll. The All-American honor is the third preseason tally for Baker. He joins kicker Curt Duncan (Morristown, Tenn.) and offensive tackle Alex Taylor (Bristol, Tenn.), as C-N's other preseason All-American honorees.
The Eagles are the highest ranked team in the SAC in the D2Football.com poll, ahead of no. 23 Lenoir-Rhyne. Only defending national champion Valdosta State (no. 1) and West Alabama (14) are ranked higher than C-N in region.
Baker was one of two SAC players lauded with the preseason All-America honor. Mars Hill offensive lineman Nick Allison also made the first team.
Baker was ranked as the second best running back in all of Division II behind Bloomsburg junior tailback Franklyn Quiteh. Baker ranks as the second highest rated player (36th in the nation) in the SAC behind Newberry wide receiver Corey Washington (28th in the nation).
The Eagles open their season Thursday night at 7 against Wayne State.