The 2017 college football season kicks off in late August, and several national publications have shown high expectations for the MTSU Blue Raiders.
The highest of those expectations have been placed on the shoulders of junior receiver Richie James, which is no surprise considering he comes in as the nation’s active leader in receptions and receiving yards. He was named to the Sporting News’ All-America team, and was named to Athlon’s All-America second team as an all-purpose back. Phil Steele named him All-America second team at his rightful position.
James was also given all-conference honors by Conference-USA, as was senior MTSU kicker Canon Rooker.
Rooker was 16-of-19 for field goal attempts in 2016, and his 112 points were the most ever for a Blue Raider in a single season.
While Conference USA snubbed junior quarterback Brent Stockstill for all-conference honors, both Athlon Sports and Phil Steele tabbed him for All-Conference USA first team. Athlon also gave second-team honors to junior linebacker Chris Melton, the 2016 tackles leader, as well as Rooker.
Also garnering all-conference mention in Phil Steele’s preview were junior defensive end Walter Brady (first team), junior offensive lineman Chandler Brewer (second team), senior linebacker DJ Sanders (second team), senior cornerback Mike Minter (second team), junior offensive lineman Carlos Johnson (third team), Rooker (third team), and Melton (fourth team).
The Blue Raiders have been picked to once again finish second in the C-USA East division, and are expected to cap their 2017 season off with another bowl bid.
The Blue Raiders open the 2017 against mid-state rival Vanderbilt on Sept. 2 in Murfreesboro; for tickets or more information on MTSU athletics, visit goblueraiders.com.