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Tribe football team picked second in CAA

Four William and Mary football players garnered preseason all-conference honors and the Tribe was picked to finish second in the standings according to a vote of the league’s 10 head coaches and media relations personnel at the 2010 Colonial Athletic Association Media Day at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md., on Wednesday.

Representing W&M on the preseason All-CAA team were junior running back Jonathan Grimes, junior linebacker Jake Trantin, senior punter David Miller and senior offensive lineman Keith Hill, Jr.

One of the nation’s top running backs, Grimes earned preseason all-league honors for the second consecutive season. Chosen to the Walter Payton Award Watch List earlier this month, the Palmyra, N.J., native has been selected to preseason All-America teams by Phil Steele and The Sports Network. Just a junior, Grimes will enter the fall ranked 10th on the Tribe’s career rushing list with 2,223 yards and is just outside the program’s all-time top 10 with 16 rushing touchdowns.

Grimes earned first-team all-conference honors last season after leading the league with 1,294 rushing yards – a figure that ranks third on W&M’s single-season list – and set a single-season school record with 2,043 all-purpose yards. Additionally, he ranked second in the CAA and 13th nationally with 145.9 all-purpose yards per game while finding the end zone 10 times (nine rushing/one receiving). In addition to leading the Tribe’s ground attack, Grimes also distinguished himself on special teams and earned third-team All-CAA honors as a kick returner.

Like Grimes, Trantin is one of the nation’s top players at his position and has also earned preseason All-America distinction from Phil Steele and The Sports Network. A team captain this fall, Trantin was a second-team all-conference honoree in 2009 after leading the Tribe with 90 tackles. The Odenton, Md., native also added 2.5 sacks, 10.0 tackles for a loss, three interceptions, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and three pass breakups.

One of the country’s top punters and a two-time all-conference selection, Miller will enter his final campaign looking to punctuate an outstanding collegiate career. Miller garnered first-team all-league honors in 2009 after ranking 21st nationally with 40.5 yards per punt. Eleven of Miller’s punts went longer than 50 yards, while he pinned the opposition inside the 20-yard line 15 times.

A team captain for the upcoming season, Hill will make the move from right tackle to left tackle this fall. A standout on the Tribe’s offensive front last year, he helped the team rank third in the conference in rushing yards per game (167.4) and total offense per game (369.9). Additionally, W&M surrendered just 1.5 sacks per game – a figure that ranked second in the CAA.

W&M, which recently garnered a preseason ranking of No. 1 in Phil Steele’s College Football Preview, will kickoff the 2010 season when it plays at Massachusetts at Sept. 4. The contest, which will carried live by Comcast Network Mid-Atlantic and Philadelphia as well as Comcast SportsNet New England, will be one of the Tribe’s five regular-season games scheduled to be televised.

2010 Preseason Predicted Order of Finish (First Place Votes)
1. Villanova (17)
2. William and Mary
3. New Hampshire (2)
4. James Madison
5. Delaware (1)
6. Richmond
7. Maine
8. Massachusetts
9. Rhode Island
10. Towson