August 19, 2013

MARTIN, Tenn. – A total of five University of Tennessee at Martin football players have been hailed as Preseason All-Americans by USA College Football.

Linebacker Ben Johnson was named a first team preseason All-American on defense, while his defensive teammates DJ Roberts (second team) and Thad Williams (third team) also appeared on the list. Jeremy Butler also captured third team offense accolades while James Satterfield earned a spot on the third team special teams.

A 6-2, 235-pound redshirt senior linebacker, Johnson was named to the preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference team last month and has been named a preseason All-American by six different publications. He led the OVC with 131 tackles and ranked sixth in the country with 11.91 tackles per game in 2012. The Primm Springs, Tenn. native accounted for double-digit tackles in eight games and had a season-best 17 stops in a win over Jacksonville State on Nov. 3 of last year.

Roberts, from Knoxville, Tenn., was also honored by the OVC head coaches and sports information directors last month, as he was chosen as a preseason all-conference selection as well. In 2012, he finished third in the OVC in tackles for loss (11.5) and fifth in fumble recoveries (two). The 6-2, 245-pound redshirt senior defensive end was responsible for 11 quarterback hurries and had a season-best nine tackles in UT Martin’s victory at Memphis on Sept. 1.

A redshirt senior defensive back from Adel, Ga., Williams is coming off an All-OVC second team accolade in 2012. He ranked seventh in the OVC with two interceptions and also ranked seventh in passes defended (nine) last season, while adding 44 tackles. The 5-9, 190-pounder set a season-high with seven tackles in wins against Southeastern Louisiana (Sept. 13) and at Southeast Missouri (Oct. 20).

Butler, a 6-3, 205-pound wide receiver, led the OVC with three multi-touchdown games in 2012, including a four-touchdown effort in a win at Murray State on Oct. 13. He also ranked fourth in the OVC in touchdowns (10), fifth in yards per catch (14.7), sixth in receptions per game (5.11) and seventh in receiving yard per game (75.0). The senior wide receiver out of Bradenton, Fla. set career-highs in receptions (13) at Tennessee Tech on Nov. 11 and receiving yards (177) at Murray State.

A redshirt junior out of Gallatin, Tenn., Satterfield brought home All-OVC second team accolades last season after ranking second in the league with a 42.5 yard punting average. He was responsible for the two longest punts in the OVC in 2012, a 73-yarder at Tennessee Tech on Nov. 10 and a 70-yarder against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 29. Overall, the 6-1, 171-pounder tallied three touchbacks, 14 fair catches, seven punts of 50-yards or more and nine punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.

UT Martin opens its season with an Aug. 29 showdown at in-state rival Chattanooga. Kickoff from Finley Stadium is set for 6:30 p.m. CST.