Max Holcombe, DaMarcus James and LaMichael Fanning have all three been named Preseason All-Americans by The Sports Network, the leading FCS football news organization announced on Tuesday.
Holcombe was named first-team, while James was named second-team and Fanning earned third-team honors. Jacksonville State is preseason ranked No. 4 and No. 6 in two preseason Top 25 polls after advancing to the NCAA Quarterfinals with an 11-4 record as the Gamecocks set 49 school records, 13 OVC records and three NCAA records during the 2013 season.
"We are proud that Max, DaMarcus and LaMichael have all been named preseason All-Americans," said first-year head coach John Grass. "They are all three very talented football players and are very deserving of this honor."
Holcombe has started 37 straight games at center for the Gamecocks and is the anchor on the offensive line.
The Tuscaloosa, Ala., native played a total of 1138 snaps and posted the highest grade on the offensive line at just over 87 percent for the 2013 season. The Gamecocks led the Ohio Valley Conference in rushing with an average of 239.1 yards per game to rank 12th nationally, and finished with an OVC record 48 rushing touchdowns behind the first-team All-OVC selection.
James had a record-breaking season in 2013 and earned All-America and first-team All-OVC honors after rushing for 1,477 yards on 292 carries to the school's single-season rushing record.
The junior running back also set the OVC record with 29 rushing touchdowns to finish second in the nation, and he scored a rushing touchdown in the final 12 games of the season to extend his school record.
The Demopolis, Ala., native now has 35 career rushing touchdowns, which is the third most in school history, and his 13 career 100-yard rushing games is also the second most in school history.
Fanning was a four-star prospect from Hamilton, Ga., and played his senior year of high school football at Auburn High School before signing with the University of Alabama in 2011. He redshirted his first season and saw reserve action on the defensive side of the ball for the Crimson Tide in 2012 and 2013, before enrolling at Jacksonville State in January.
Jacksonville State opens the 2014 season at Michigan State on Friday, August 29, and the Gamecocks will open fall practice on Friday, August 1.
(Courtesy: JSU Sports Information)