Saturday, July 30, 2016
North Carolina A&T State received 13 first-place votes, to receive the first place ranking, while Bethune-Cookman was picked second and North Carolina Central third followed by SC State to round out the top four spots of this year's preseason predicted order of finish.
All-MEAC linebacker redshirt junior Darius Leonard was named Preseason MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, along with earning All-MEAC First Team honors for the second straight year.
Leonard (6-3, 200) finished the 2015 season recording 70 total tackles, one forced fumble, one recovered fumble, two quarterback hurries, four passes deflected and two breakups. He notched two interceptions, one for a touchdown, and 13.5 tackles for a loss. Leonard was second on the team in sacks (5.0) and interceptions.