RICHARDSON, Texas – Hardin-Simmons has been picked second in the preseason American Southwest Conference poll of the league’s head coaches, sports information directors and media members.
Hardin-Simmons University senior running back Jaquan Hemphill was voted as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while teammate senior kick returner/punter Reese Childress was selected as the Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year. UMHB senior linebacker Tevin Jones was named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Mary Hardin-Baylor received 23 first-place votes and 293 poll points and are picked to win the league. The Cowboys received the other seven first-place votes and had 276 poll points to easily outdistance East Texas Baptist, who was third.
Texas Lutheran was picked fourth and Southwestern fifth, followed by Sul Ross State, Louisiana College, McMurry, Howard Payne and Belhaven.
With nine eligible members, the ASC will once again have an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Championship in 2018. The regular season champion will be selected to the playoffs which begin on Saturday, November 17.
Hemphill was the 2017 ASC Offensive Player of the Year. He ran for 1,028 yards and 14 touchdowns with 317 yards and three scores receiving. He was a D3football.com all-American last year and a preseason first-team all-America pick.
Childress was the 2017 ASC Special Teams Player of the Year after averaging 12.9 yards per punt return with a touchdown, 20.8 yards per kick return and 40.1 yards per punt. Childress was an all-South region selection last year and a first-team all-ASC pick at slot back and punter.