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Tribe football No. 1 to start the season

The William & Mary football team will open the 2011 season No. 1 in the nation in the eyes of at least one prognosticator.

Phil Steele, whose annual football yearbook is among the best-selling in the nation, has tabbed the Tribe for the top spot nationally in his preseason Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) poll for the second consecutive season. The Tribe also led the official FCS poll for one week during the 2010 regular season, and return 13 starters from last season's squad that captured the Colonial Athletic Association title and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Playoffs, marking the program's second-consecutive postseason berth.

In addition to the lofty ranking, the publication also selected four Tribe standouts as preseason All-Americans - running back Jonathan Grimes (first team), cornerback B.W. Webb (second team), linebacker Dante Cook (third team) and tight end Alex Gottlieb (fourth team). Joining the quartet on Steele's preseason All-CAA First Team was defensive end Marcus Hyde and safety Brian Thompson, while center James Pagliaro, left tackle Mike Salazar and linebacker Jake Trantin all garnered preseason second-team all-league distinction.

The start of the 2011 season finds the Tribe at Virginia on Sept. 3. Game times for 10 of the Tribe's 11 games have been announced and are available by clicking here. The kickoff time for the Old Dominion game should be available in the near future.

Tribe football season tickets are available for purchase by calling the ticket office at 757-221-3340 or by visiting TribeAthletics.com.

Also announced on Wednesday was that the Colonial Athletic Association media day on July 27 will be broadcast from 10 a.m.-noon on ESPN3 – making it the first FCS conference to have its media day telecast.

The program will feature all of the league’s coaches as well as select players. William & Mary will be represented by Grimes and Hyde.

Fans are being encouraged to send in questions and comments to caafootball@gmail.com. CAA Football will run a CoverItLive blog on CAAFootballblog.com in conjunction with the ESPN3 broadcast, and will also post updates throughout the day using its Twitter and Facebook feeds.