The Central Connecticut football program was selected fourth in the annual Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll. The results of the poll were announced during the 2014 #NECFB Google Hangout on Monday morning. Four Blue Devils - Rob Hollomon, Tyrell Holmes, Tyler Hurd and Josh Alaeze - were named to the Preseason All-NEC Team on Monday, which was also announced during the conference's season opening hangout.
Defending NEC Champion Sacred Heart was picked to repeat and received six first place votes. Duquesne was tapped second with the remaining first place vote. Robert Morris was selected third just ahead of the Blue Devils and first-year head coach Pete Rossomando.
Wagner, Bryant and Saint Francis U filled out the final three spots in the poll.
Hollomon, a senior from Philadelphia, earned one of two running back spots on the preseason team. He enters the 2014 season third on CCSU's career rushing list with 2,556 yards. He rushed for 1,452 yards last season and scored 19 total touchdowns, including 18 on the ground. Earlier this summer Hollomon was named to the Walter Payton Award watch list and was a Preseason All-America First Team selection at the all-purpose position by The Sports Network. Hollomon led NCAA Division I FCS with 189.17 all-purpose yards per game last season.
Holmes, a senior from Bristol, CT, earned one of three wide receiver spots on the preseason squad. Last season, Holmes transitioned to receiver from safety and quickly made an impact with 42 receptions for a total of 774 yards and seven touchdowns.
Hurd, a junior from Saratoga Springs, NY, was one of five offensive linemen selected to the All-NEC team. A two-year starter, Hurd helped the Blue Devils set a school record for total offense last season. He also helped protect quarterback Nick SanGiacomo who set a CCSU record for touchdown passes in a season and helped lead the way for Rob Hollomon's second consecutive 1,000 yard rushing season.
Alaeze, a senior from Baltimore, MD, earned a spot on the preseason squad at linebacker despite playing defensive end last season. Alaeze, who earned Second Team All-NEC honors on the defensive line last season, is transitioning to outside linebacker in 2014. Alaeze finished the 2013 season with 55 total tackles, 24 solo stops, seven tackles for a loss and two sacks.
Hollomon and Holmes were also Second Team All-NEC selections following last season.
The Blue Devils will open the 2014 season on Saturday, August 30 at Towson.