Four Georgia Southern University football players were selected as preseason all-Americans by the Phil Steele Publications group.
Junior running back Dominique Swope heads the list on the first-team offense. Senior quarterback Jerick McKinnon and senior offensive tackle Dorian Byrd were named to the all-America third team, and offensive tackle Garrett Frye was listed on the fourth team.
Swope, who amassed 1,246 rushing yards in 2012 for back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, combined with McKinnon (1,817) to set the NCAA FCS record for most yards by teammates in the same season with 3,063. Byrd and Frye return to an Eagle offensive line that racked up an average of 399.4 rushing yards per game, best in NCAA Division I.
All four Eagles earned all-America honors for their performances in the 2012 season. McKinnon led Georgia Southern in rushing yards and scored 20 touchdowns, with his 1,817 rushing total third on the single-season list behind only legends Adrian Peterson, who had 1,932 yards in 1998, and Jayson Foster, who ran for 1,844 yards in 2007.
Swope finished second behind McKinnon in rushing and had 17 touchdowns on the ground.
Frye was one of only four Eagles to start every game in 2012 and had the second most knockdowns in the regular season with 72. Veteran tackle Byrd has 29 starts in 39 career games and helped the Eagles to four of the top six single-game rushing totals in FCS last year.
The Eagles report for preseason camp July 31 and begin practice Aug. 1. Georgia Southern plays host to Savannah State on Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. at Paulson Stadium.