Central Connecticut State football team collected a first-place vote for the Northeast Conference preseason coaches poll Tuesday.
The Virtual Social Media Day also saw the Blue Devils have three players picked for preseason all-Northeast Conference in J’Von Brown, Tyshaun James and Tre Jones.
The Blue Devils, who opted out of playing during the 2020-21 season, tied for second in the poll with Duquesne, collecting two first-place votes. Sacred Heart received four votes for first.
Bryant was picked fourth while Merrimack, who will play a full NEC schedule, was not listed. Merrimack is not eligible for the league title until 2023.
Central's offense the NEC in scoring and yardage during the 2019 season with Brown and James representing on first-team.
The Blue Devils piled up an average of 415.9 yards per game and averaged 34.3 points per game in its last season of action. Brown returns to the program as an offensive line figurehead after missing part of 2019 due to injury. He was named a preseason All-American on Monday.
James led the NEC and ranked 23rd nationally as a junior with 14 total touchdowns behind Brown and the line. He was an All-NEC first-team pick in 2019 and was 12th in the NCAA with 20.38 yards per reception, finishing 28 yards shy of 1,000 for the season.
The defensive unit was represented by Jones on the preseason All-NEC team.
He earned All-NEC first-team honors in 2019 after ranking fourth in the NEC with eight sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss, combining for 58.0 total tackles. The Blue Devils led the league in scoring defense (20.2) and total defense (282.5) in 2019. Central also allowed a league-low 73.2 rushing yards per game in 2019.