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Maier, Preece Lead Phil Steele Preseason Awards

DAVIS, Calif. — Senior quarterback Jake Maier earned a spot on the second team while senior tight end Wes Preece made the fourth team, representing UC Davis football on Phil Steele’s 2019 Preseason FCS All-America honor roll Thursday. Additionally, Maier and Preece were among five Aggie recipients of Phil Steele’s Preseason All-Big Sky Conference accolades, along with wide receiver Jared Harrell, running back Ulonzo Gilliam, Jr. and punter Daniel Whelan.

The awards are voted by Steele plus the staff at the website DraftScout.com.

Maier and Harrell each appeared on the Preseason All-Big Sky first team. Gilliam and Preece snared second-team distinction. Whelan finds his name on the third team.

Maier wins his fourth preseason All-America award of 2019, along with similar honors from HERO Sports, Athlon Sports and STATS. He also garnered Preseason Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year and nabbed a spot on the Walter Payton Award watch list. The communication major from La Habra, California, completed 364 of 557 passes and ranked among national leaders with 3,931 yards and 34 touchdown passes in 2018.

Preece, who earned Phil Steele Preseason All-America status last year, has scored nine touchdowns in each of the past two seasons, earning All-Big Sky Conference acclaim both times. The managerial economics major enters his final season with career totals of 73 catches, 964 yards and 18 TDs.

Harrell, a human development major from Los Angeles and St. John Bosco High, earned a spot on the Preseason All-Big Sky Conference team earlier this summer. He comes off a sophomore season that saw him post 62 catches for 896 yards and five touchdowns, placing him seventh in the league in both receptions and yards per game.

A biochemistry & molecular biology student from Merced, California, Gilliam posted such numbers of 976 rushing yards, 385 receiving yards and 17 total touchdowns in 2018 – the latter of which placed him fourth on the national leaderboard. This is his second Preseason All-America nod of the summer, having joined Maier on the HERO Sports squad in early June.

Whelan’s selection comes on the heels of his FCS Punter of the Year nomination from the Augusta Sports Council less than two weeks earlier. The junior sustainable environmental design major from Rancho Mirage, California, averaged 41.5 yards per punt in 2018, garnering All-Big Sky Conference honorable mention.

Portland State tight end Charlie Taumoepeau earned Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year while Montana linebacker Dante Olson scored the Defensive Player of the Year nod.

UC Davis wraps up its first full week of preseason camp. The Aggies begin their 2019 season at California on August 31.

PHIL STEELE’S PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA
UC Davis honorees only.

SECOND TEAM
Jake Maier, QB

FOURTH TEAM
Wes Preece, TE

PHIL STEELE’S PRESEASON ALL-BIG SKY CONFERENCE
UC Davis honorees only.

FIRST TEAM
Jake Maier, QB
Jared Harrell, WR

SECOND TEAM
Ulonzo Gilliam, RB
Wes Preece, TE

THIRD TEAM
Daniel Whelan, P