STEPHENVILLE – A day ahead of its annual media day, the Western Athletic Conference revealed the results of the preseason coaches poll on Monday.
Tarleton Football was voted to finish third in the conference by the other WAC head coaches, with five Texans named Preseason All-WAC. Offensive linemen Kendall Dearth and Blake Haynes are on the 2022 Preseason All-WAC Offense. Defensive lineman Javier Duran, linebacker D.J. Harris and defensive back Donovan Banks are on the 2022 Preseason All-WAC Defense.
WAC head coaches submitted votes on who they think the top teams and players are entering the 2022 football season, and they were not allowed to vote for their own team or players.
Tarleton was picked to finish third in the conference, earning 10 total points with one first place vote. Stephen F. Austin was voted to finish first, taking 16 points and four first place votes. Abilene Christian was picked second, Southern Utah fourth, and Utah Tech fifth. Sam Houston was not eligible to vote or be voted for regarding the preseason team poll, due to its reclassification to the FBS.
Dearth and Haynes were two of the six total offensive linemen on the 2022 Preseason All-WAC Offense. Haynes was Second Team All-WAC last season. Haynes and Dearth each started all 11 games for the Texans last year, part of an offensive line that allowed the tied-12th fewest total sacks in the FCS at 13, the tied-14th fewest sacks per game at 1.18.
Duran, one of five defensive linemen chosen to the 2022 Preseason All-WAC Defense, was Second Team All-WAC last year. He started all 11 games in his first year at Tarleton, recording 32 total tackles (17 solo), 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and three quarterback hurries.
Harris, one of four linebackers named 2022 Preseason All-WAC Defense, led the Texans in total tackles last year at 66 (35 solo). He finished with seven tackles for a loss, tied-second most on the team, earning a safety, forced fumble, 1.5 sacks and four quarterback hurries in nine games played. Across the conference last year, he averaged the fourth most tackles per game at 7.3 per, owning the sixth most total tackles.
Banks was one of five defensive backs on the 2022 Preseason All-WAC Defense. Last year he had the tied-third most total tackles on the team from the secondary with 50 (32 solo).
Tarleton will participate at WAC Football Media Day on Tuesday in The Woodlands, Texas. The Texans’ scheduled press conference is at 11:30 a.m. CT, and can be seen on ESPN+.
The full results of the preseason WAC poll can be found below:
2022 Preseason Football Coaches Poll
Rank — Team (1st Place Votes) — Points
1. Stephen F. Austin (4) — 16
2. Abilene Christian — 12
3. Tarleton (1) — 10
4. Southern Utah — 7
5. Utah Tech — 5
2022 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: *Xavier Gipson, Sr., WR Stephen F. Austin
2022 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Markel Perry, Sr., DL, Sam Houston
2022 Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year: Chris Campos, So., K, Stephen F. Austin
2022 Preseason All-WAC Offense
QB – Trae Self, Gr., Stephen F. Austin
RB – Dezmon Jackson, Gr., Sam Houston
RB – *Miles Reed, Gr., Stephen F. Austin
WR – *Ife Adeyi, Jr., Sam Houston
WR – Kobe Clark, Sr., Abilene Christian
WR – Cody Chrest, Gr., Sam Houston
WR – *Xavier Gipson, Sr, Stephen F. Austin
TE – Chad Aune, Sr., Stephen F. Austin
OL – Kendall Dearth, Sr., Tarleton
OL – *Ethan Hagler, Sam Houston
OL – Blake Haynes, Jr., Tarleton
OL – Keegan Holm, Jr., Stephen F. Austin
OL – *Clint Lapic, Sr., Stephen F. Austin
OL – *Reese Moore, So., Abilene Christian
2022 Preseason All-WAC Defense
DL – Francis Bemiy, Gr., Southern Utah
DL – Javier Duran, Sr., Tarleton
DL – Jevon Leon, Jr., Sam Houston
DL – *Markel Perry, Sr. Sam Houston
DL – *B.J. Thompson, Sr., Stephen F. Austin
LB – D.J. Harris, Jr., Tarleton
LB – Will Leota, So., Utah Tech
LB – *Brevin Randle, Sr., Stephen F. Austin
LB – *Trevor Williams, Sr., Sam Houston
DB – Kameryn Alexander, Jr., Sam Houston
DB – Donovan Banks, Sr., Tarleton
DB – Tyrell Grayson, So., Utah Tech
DB – Myles Heard, Jr., Stephen F. Austin
DB – *Jeremiah Walker, Jr., Stephen F. Austin
2022 Preseason All-WAC Special Teams
K – Chris Campos, So., Stephen F. Austin
P – Max Quick, Jr., Stephen F. Austin
LS – Chase Ruiz, Jr., Stephen F. Austin
RET – Xavier Gipson, Sr., Stephen F. Austin
Players are listed in alphabetical order with positions that have more than one honoree,