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Preseason poll (with coaches and sports information directors voting): 1. Towson, 2. Old Dominion, 3. James Madison, 4. New Hampshire, 5. Delaware, 6. Maine, 7. William & Mary, 8. Villanova, 9. Richmond, 10. Rhode Island, 11. Georgia State.
Defending champion: Towson (9-3 overall, 7-1 division).
Preseason offensive player of the year: Towson sophomore running back Terrance West (5-foot-11, 223 pounds,
1,294 yards rushing, 6.7 average, 29 touchdowns).
Preseason defensive player of the year: New Hampshire senior linebacker Matt Evans (6-0, 226, 165 tackles, 13.8 per game, 3 interceptions).
Other players to watch: Maine junior defensive lineman Michael Cole (6-2, 250, 11 sacks) . . . Villanova senior wide receiver Norman White (6-3, 220, (69 receptions, 886 yards, 11 TDs in 2010, missed last season with foot injury) . . . Towson senior quarterback Grant Enders (6-3, 215, 165 for 245 passing, 2,081 yards, 16 TDs, 8 interceptions) . . . Old Dominion sophomore quarterback Taylor Heincke (6-1, 195, 25 TD passes, 1 interception) . . . Delaware junior running back Andrew Pierce (5-11, 200, 1,279 yards rushing, 4.58 avg., 16 TDs) . . . James Madison senior offensive lineman Earl Watford (6-4, 290, first-team all-CAA) . . . Richmond senior linebacker Darius McMilllan (5-11, 210, 133 tackles).
Local flavor: Villanova’s White attended St. Joseph of Hammonton. Delaware’s Pierce played at South Jersey’s Cumberland Regional High, while JMU’s Watford is a graduate of Philadelphia’s Simon Gratz.
Did you know? CAA teams earned five of the 20 FCS playoff berths last season: Towson, James Madison, Maine, New Hampshire and Old Dominion made the cut.
Nine eligible: Old Dominion and Georgia State are ineligible for the conference championship because of future moves to the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly I-A). ODU is eligible to earn an NCAA FCS bid, but Georgia State is ineligible.
By Marc Narducci, Philly.com