BUENA VISTA, Va. Southern Virginia Football players Thomas Canady, Tommy Davidson and Matt Mellor have been named to the NAIA Preseason All-Independent Team. Five other players accompanied the trio from SVU in being named to the 2010 NAIA Independent Newcomers list. The five newcomers include wide receiver Dewayne Beamon, defensive lineman Fine Itaaehau, offensive lineman Steven Jensen, defensive back Mark Newman, and wide receiver Brick Wilce.
Canady returns for his junior year, and will be looked to for a solid blocking presence in the backfield. Canady, will also be looked to for leadership being one of the few upperclassmen the Knights will have on the offensive side of the ball. The fullback saw his yards gained and yards averaged increase in the 2009 season, and coaches are expecting positive improvements for Canady.
Davidson is not stranger to awards, as he follows a 2nd Team NAIA All Independent award in 2009, with the preseason award for 2010. Davidson will be looked to for strong tackles, and important coverage from the outside linebacker position. Davidson's showings have impressed the coaches in the pre-season, and expectations are high for the junior linebacker.
Mellor is looking to finish his SVU career with a history making performance. Mellor is within 100 tackles of breaking the all-time tackles record in SVU history. Former player Shea Owens holds the record, and if things go as planned, Mellor will be looking to break the record at the end of the season. This is another preseason award for the linebacker, as he was named to the team in 2009, and finished the season off with a 1st team selection.
The trio will be in action Aug. 26, when SVU travels to play at Concord University. The 6:00 kickoff will start a rematch for the Knights against the NCAA D.II foe. Southern Virginia faced off in a season openener in 2009 against the same team, and the team will be looking to improve on its performance from a year ago.