JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – For Buccaneer senior running back, Jacob Saylors, the preseason accolades have been piling up over the past few weeks.

The Jasper, Tennessee native was named the Southern Conference Preseason Offensive Player of the Year at the league’s annual Media Day last month. Since then, he has also garnered Preseason All-American honors, as well as named to the Walter Payton Award watchlist – given annually to the Division I-AA’s top player.

The awards have certainly been earned through last year’s 1,019 rush yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

“You know, it’s a blessing – it’s a blessing,” he said earlier this week when asked about his SoCon honor. “I just, I try to view or I try to spend my time looking at other things – the team, just how I can improve myself.”

Saylors hears about the preseason chatter from his coaches and teammates, but is no longer reading it himself.

“I deleted all my social media – I feel like that’s toxic – because, you know, I’ve been at the top before last season and I’ve been at the bottom,” he explained. “It’s a mental game – a lot of people don’t talk about how mental football is, but it’s very mental.”

Saylors says the social media accounts are nice to have, but not necessary – particularly when it comes to winning football games. His focus, instead, is on becoming the best teammate and leader he can be for ETSU this season.

“Being an older guy, being someone that’s had a successful past and been on the field every year of college – I hope when [my teammates] see me doing things, they’re like ‘That works, maybe I should try that,'” he said.

The Bucs will begin padded practices this upcoming week, all leading up to the season opener on September 1.