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EIU COACH 1 (12/10/18)

New Eastern Illinois University football head coach Adam Cushing speaks at press conference Dec. 10. Cushing is the 25th head football coach and sixth in the NCAA Division I history of the program at Eastern Illinois University.

For the sixth-straight year a panel of media covering the Ohio Valley Conference have conducted a Preseason Football Media Poll prior to the start of the season. In total 15 voters from around the league cast a ballot on who they thought would be the 2019 football favorites and preseason players of the year.

Eastern Illinois, led by first-year coach Adam Cushing, was picked to finish eighth in the poll, released Friday.

The OVC will release its preseason poll and All-OVC team, as voted on by league head coaches and sports information directors, on Monday during the league's annual Media Day in Nashville.

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The media panel picked the Jacksonville State Gamecocks as the preseason favorite, picking up all 15 first-place votes and 135 total points. Southeast Missouri received 11 of the 15 second-place votes in being tabbed second overall (115 points) while Eastern Kentucky was tabbed third (99). Austin Peay (84) was picked fourth and followed by Tennessee State (75), UT Martin (58), Murray State (55), Eastern Illinois (38) and Tennessee Tech (16).

In addition, the pollsters tabbed Jacksonville State junior quarterback Zerrick Cooper the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Southeast Missouri senior linebacker Zach Hall as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

The pollsters for the 2019 OVC Media Poll included: Bob Belvin, ESPN Clarksville; Mike Bradd, Eastern Illinois Radio; Mark Edwards, Anniston Star; Neal Bradley, Murray State Radio; Craig Haley, STATS; Sam Herder, HERO Sports; Edward Marlowe, Paducah Sun; Brian McLaughlin, HERO Sports; Mike Organ, Tennessean; Mike Parris, Jacksonville State Radio Network; Brian Rives, Governors Sports Network; Greg Stotelmyer, Eastern Kentucky Sports Network; Van Stokes, ESPN Clarksville; Kevin Taylor, The Gadsden Times; Kevin Weaks, Union City Messenger.

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