SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Jan. 20, 2021) – The Southern Conference announced its Football Preseason All-SoCon Ballots on Wednesday afternoon, featuring six different Buccaneers on the all-conference teams.
Five of ETSU’s six all-conference honorees were placed on the first team ballot, tied for the most first team honorees in the league. Nate Adkins (Knoxville, Tenn.), Blake Bockrath (Loveland, Ohio), Quay Holmes (Powder Springs, Ga.), Tyree Robinson (Gainesville, Ga.) and Tre’mond Shorts (Hampton, Ga.) were slated on the first team. In addition, Tyler Keltner (Tallahassee, Fla.) earned a position on the Second Team All-SoCon.
Adkins is entering his junior season with the Bucs and is one of the league’s premier tight ends. Adkins finished the 2019 season on the SoCon Coaches First Team All-Conference after totaling 25 receptions for 241 yards and two touchdowns. The Tennessee native began the season with back-to-back touchdown performances against Appalachian State (Aug. 31, 2019) and Shorter (Sept. 7, 2019).
Bockrath is a redshirt-senior linebacker and has been wreaking havoc on opposing offenses throughout his career. Last season, the Ohio native finished the year with 57 tackles (31 solo), 6.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks and four quarterback hurries. Bockrath tallied five or more tackles in seven of his 11 games played. Bockrath pulled down a season-high 10 tackles against Western Carolina on Nov. 9, 2019.
Holmes is no stranger to preseason or postseason accolades. The Georgia product adds yet another preseason All-SoCon appearance, running his total to three preseason All-SoCon honorees. Holmes has also corralled three postseason All-American honors, four preseason All-American awards and six postseason All-SoCon awards, including 2018 SoCon Freshman of the Year. Holmes was named to the Preseason First Team All-SoCon after a standout performance in 2019 where he rushed for 1,143 yards on 206 carries with seven touchdowns. Holmes also set a new program record for rushing yards in a game with 255 yards on 26 carries and three touchdowns in a 38-33 win over Mercer on Nov. 16, 2019. The redshirt-junior running back led the league in all-purpose yards with 1,905 and currently ranks ninth in career rushing yards at ETSU with 2,071.
Robinson has been named to his second consecutive Preseason All-SoCon First Team Defense. The Georgia native appeared in the first eight games of the 2019 season, recording 50 tackles (38 solo). Robinson also finished the year with 3.0 tackles for loss and concluded the season with eight pass breakups. The senior defensive back also forced his first collegiate fumble against Furman on Sept. 28, 2019.
Shorts is the final selection on the First Team All-SoCon, earning a spot on the Offensive team. The redshirt-junior offensive lineman is a top returner on the line for the Bucs, having played in 746 of the possible 760 snaps last season. The Georgia native graded out at 99.5% in his 746 snaps and capped off the season with 38 knock downs. Shorts’ 2019 campaign earned him a spot on the Coaches Second Team All-SoCon to end the season.
Keltner is the final honoree for the Bucs, garnering a position on the Preseason All-SoCon Second Team Offense. The sophomore place kicker was named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team last season after connecting on 14 field goals, ranking third most in a single season in ETSU history. The Florida product also finished perfect on the season in PATs (27-of-27). Keltner’s 69 points ranked second-most in a single season by a kicker in program history. Keltner made at least one field goal in 10 consecutive games, including connecting for a career-long 48 yards against Austin Peay on Sept. 21, 2019.
In addition to the Preseason All-SoCon selections, the Bucs were picked to finish eighth in both the coaches and media poll. Meanwhile, Wofford was tabbed to finish first in the Coaches Poll (second in Media Poll) and Furman was notched to take home the top spot in the Media Poll and finish second in the Coaches Poll. Chattanooga was tabbed to finish third in both polls, while garnering a first-place vote in the Coaches Poll.
Reece Udinski (VMI) was selected as the Preseason SoCon Offensive Player of the Year, while Willie Eubanks III (The Citadel) was named Preseason SoCon Defensive Player of the Year.