LEXINGTON, Va. – The 2018 College Football America Yearbook has released its Division III Top 30 and Starting Lineup, its version of a preseason All-America team. The Generals were represented in both.
W&L appears 21st in the publication's preseason Division III ranking, while sophomore running back Josh Breece (Lorton, Va. / Stone Bridge) is one of 26 players recognized in the Starting Lineup.
Defending National Champion Mount Union tops the CFA Preseason Top 30 and is followed by Mary Hardin-Baylor, St. Thomas, Wisconsin-Whitewater and Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The Generals check in at No. 21 after posting an 8-3 overall record a year ago. W&L claimed the ODAC title and gave the Purple Raiders all they could handle in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament before falling 21-0.
Breece was one of two running backs featured in the Starting Lineup. He turned in the finest rushing season in conference history during his initial campaign, totaling an ODAC-record 1,825 yards and 18 touchdowns despite not earning his first start until the fifth game of the season. He finished third in Division III in rushing, second in yards per carry (7.7), eighth in rushing touchdowns and tied for 15th in total points (108). He produced nine 100-yard rushing efforts, including each of the final eight games of the season to tie a program record. He finished the season with 169 yards against Mount Union, the most the Purple Raiders had allowed to an opposing running back since the 2014 season (50 games).
For his efforts, Breece earned First Team All-ODAC, First Team All-State, First Team All-South Region and AP Second Team All-America laurels. He added ODAC Rookie of the Year honors, VaSID Offensive Rookie of the Year accolades, and was named the Virginia College Division Offensive Player of the Year by the Roanoke Times.
W&L returns 48 letterwinners and 14 starters from the 2017 team, which won its final six regular-season games to claim its fourth ODAC championship in the last eight years. Joining Breece as returning All-ODAC selections on offense this season are senior offensive tackle Mitch Hornsby (Loganville, Ga. / Archer), senior running back Collin Sherman (Virginia Beach, Va. / Cox) and junior offensive tackle Sean Clark (Washington, D.C. / Georgetown Prep). On defense, junior lineman Philip Davis (Peachtree Corners, Ga. / Norcross) and sophomore lineman Andrew Frailer (Bel Air, Md. / McDonogh) both return after claiming all-conference hardware in 2017.
W&L will begin the 2018 campaign under the direction of first-year Head Coach Garrett LeRose '07. LeRose replaced Scott Abell, who left for Davidson College after six seasons. He will coach his first game on September 1 at Dickinson College. Opening kickoff is slated for 1:00 pm.