Football Notebook: WKU picked fourth, Jackson named Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

Jackson earns Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year after leading WKU last season in tackles with 122 and four forced fumbles. 

Elliott Pratt

All-Sun Belt team and Preseason Coach’s Poll

WKU will have a lot to prove in the upcoming season if it wants to take over the Sun Belt Conference in Bobby Petrino’s first year at the helm.

The Hilltoppers were picked to finish fourth with 44 points in the 2013 Preseason Sun Belt Coach’s Poll released Monday morning at Sun Belt Media Day in New Orleans, La.

The top spot for the conference remains cloudy, but the coachs believe the first place nod will go south to Louisiana.

UL-Lafayette and UL-Monroe each received 57 points in the poll, with Lafayette took four first place votes while Monroe earned two votes.

Arkansas State barely edged out WKU for the third place vote with 45 points and two first place tallies.

The All-Sun Belt Team features four Hilltoppers.

Senior running back Antonio Andrews and senior center Sean Conway represent WKU for the offense. Junior linebacker Andrew Jackson and safety Jonathan Dowling have been honored on the defense.

Andrews also earned the special teams honor as a return specialist. 

Jackson expected to be league’s best defender

Linebacker Andrew Jackson has his name in many preseason awards watch list, and he added another to his shelf on Monday.

Jackson was named the Sun Belt Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Monday morning.

The preseason nod comes after Jackson led the Hilltoppers in tackles (122) and forced fumbles with four.  Prior to received the preseason DPOY honor, he was named to the first-team All-Sun Belt Conference team for the second-straight year.

WKU vs. Kentucky game to air on ESPNews

WKU’s season opener against Kentucky on Aug. 31 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. will be televised live on ESPNews.

This marks the sixth game so far in the year to be televised by an ESPN network or the Sun Belt Network.

Kickoff for the season opener in Nashville is set for 6 p.m. 

Below are the remaining Sun Belt Conference Preseason awards.


Points (First Place Votes)

T-1. Louisiana-Lafayette

57 (4)

T-1. Louisiana-Monroe

57 (2)

3. Arkansas State

45 (2)

4. WKU


5. Troy


6. Texas State


7. South Alabama


8. Georgia State


2013 Preseason All-Sun Belt Team


Kolton Browning (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., QB)

David Oku (Arkansas State, Sr., RB)

Antonio Andrews (WKU, Sr., RB)

J.D. McKissic (Arkansas State, So., WR)

Je’Ron Hamm (ULM, Sr., WR)

Eric Thomas (Troy, Sr. WR)

Wes Saxton (South Alabama, Jr., TE)

Bryce Giddens (Arkansas State, So., OL)

Andre Huval (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., OL)

Josh Allen (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., OL)

Terrence Jones (Troy, Jr., OL)

Sean Conway (WKU, Sr., OL)


Ryan Carrethers (Arkansas State, Sr., DL)

Christian Ringo (Louisiana-Lafayette, Jr., DL)

Kentarius Caldwell (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., DL)

Alex Page (South Alabama, Sr., DL)

Qushaun Lee (Arkansas State, Jr., LB)

Justin Anderson (Louisiana-Lafayette, Sr., LB)

Andrew Jackson (WKU, Jr., LB)

Sterling Young (Arkansas State, Jr., DB)

Isaiah Newsome (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., DB)

Tyrell Pearson (South Alabama, Sr., DB)

Jonathan Dowling (WKU, Sr., DB)

Special Teams

Brian Davis (Arkansas State, Sr., K)

Will Scott (Troy, Sr., P)

Antonio Andrews (WKU, Sr., Return Specialist)

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year

Kolton Browning (Louisiana-Monroe, Sr., QB)

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

Andrew Jackson (WKU, Jr., LB)