Four Aggies make preseason first team

At the annual M.E.A.C. Media Luncheon in Norfolk,Va., the Aggies were picked to win the league. Junior running back Tarik Cohen was selected as preseason first team along with three other Aggies. Tarik Cohen (5-foot-6, 173, Bunn, N.C.) earned five M.E.A.C. weekly honors his freshman season, two during his sophomore season, including the honor of national player of the year from the Sports Network. Known for his blazing speed, Cohen also has one of the highest and broadest leaps on the team at 3 feet in height, and 8-feet, 11-inches in width. In 22 games played, he had 2,488 yards, 23 touchdowns, 389 yards receiving, two touchdowns on 36 catches, and 2,490 yards of total offense. Cohen is returning from a season where he rushed 1,340 yards and 15 touchdowns, the second most yards in a season in A&T history. At 2,812 yards, Maurice Hicks is the only person in program history who has rushed more yards in a two-year period than Tarik Cohen (2,488). Tony McRae (5-9, 178, Laurinburg, N.C.), a junior redshirt defensive tackle helped the Aggies lead the conference in interceptions and brought the team’s rank to second in the nation. McRae along with Donald Mattocks in 2014 make up one of the best cornerback duos in the Football Championship Subdivision. McRae ran a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash, 11/100ths of a second faster than he ran in 2014. He recorded 87 solo tackles with 57 of those tackles unassisted. As a kickoff returner, he has returned 41 kicks for 995 yards (24.3 per return) and two touchdowns. Marquis Ragland (6-3, 271, Fayetteville, N.C.) a junior defensive lineman has the best bench press on the team at 445 pounds. Ragland is tied for third on the team in squat max at 525 pounds. He has a 98 ½ inch reach and also runs the 40-yard dash in 4.88 seconds. He has played in 22 games with 15 starts and has 84 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and nine career sacks. Junior kicker Cody Jones (5-11, 141, Gastonia, N.C.) comes off a great season where he earned first-team All-MEAC honors. Filling in for Dominic Frescura after suffering an injury, Jones took the position as a punter for the 2014 season. Jones will serve as the Aggies placekicker and will also be the team’s No. 1 punter. Jones has made 24 of 32 field goals (.750), 75 of 78 extra points, and has 147 career points. In 106 kickoffs, he’s recorded 10 career touchbacks and averages 59.1 yards. Senior defensive tackle Michael Neal (5-11, 260, Greensboro, N.C.) , senior rover Landis Shoffner (6-0, 186, Greensboro, N.C.), and redshirt sophomore left tackle Brandon Parker (6-7, 279, Kannapolis, N.C.) were second-team selections, while junior offensive guard Wes Cole (6-6, 335, Norwood, N.C.) was selected to the third team. The Aggies finished last season 9-3 and 6-2 in conference play. N.C. A&T received nine out of 22 first-place votes and received 425 points, 17 more than S.C. State who was picked to finish second with four first-place votes. The MEAC race finished in a five-way tie for first in 2014 with N.C. A&T, Morgan State, Bethune-Cookman, NCCU and S.C. State sharing the MEAC title. Head Coach Rod Broadway is going into his fifth-year as the head coach for the Aggies with four wins’ shy of his 100th career win. The Aggies open the season Sept. 5 at home against Shaw University at 6 p.m. They will take the road to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C on September 12th to face the Tar Heels. The Aggies first conference game is Oct. 3 at Hampton at 1 p.m. —Email Janay at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @Ayo_IsThatBoone