Nine Monarchs Named to Phil Steele Preseason All-Independent Team

May 23, 2013
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

May 23, 2013

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Old Dominion University football has nine players on the 2013 Phil Steele Preseason FBS All-Independent Team, the publication announced on Thursday. Taylor Heinicke, David Born and Jarod Brown earned first-team accolades.

Dominique Guinn-Bailey and Caleb Taylor earned second-team honors while Antonio Vaughan, Larry Pinkard, Jack Lowney and Reggie Owens received third-team accolades.

FBS independents included on the preseason team include ODU, Notre Dame, Army, New Mexico State, BYU, Idaho and Navy.

Heinicke is coming off a record-setting 2012, breaking FCS records for passing yards and completions in a season and leading the country in passing yards, passing yards per game, total offense, passing touchdowns, total touchdowns and points responsible for. He became just the second sophomore to ever win the Walter Payton Award, given to the best player in the FCS, and earned various All-America honors. He finished the year with 398 completions, a 68.8 completion percentage, 5,076 passing yards and 44 TD tosses. He also ran for 470 yards and 11 touchdowns. The junior to be set the Division I record with 730 yards passing in a dramatic 64-61 victory over New Hampshire and also set the record for total offense with 791 yards.

Joining Heinicke on the first-team, Born started all 13 games at left guard last season for the Monarchs, earning second-team all-conference honors, while helping the ODU offense lead the nation in scoring offense, total offense and passing offense. After playing his first two years at left guard, he is expected to move to right guard in 2013.

Brown broke the FCS record for most extra points in a season without a miss, going 73-for-73 in point after attempts, earning first-team all-conference. He was 10-for-12 on field goal attempts, including a 51-yard yarder in the opener against Duquesne and a game-winning 25-yard kick in the thrilling 64-61 win over New Hampshire.

Guinn-Bailey finished fifth on the team in tackles last season with 52 stops, and also recorded 7.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. A native of Portsmouth, Guinn-Bailey earned the starting nod midway through the season and earned third-team all-conference honors.

Taylor became the starting middle linebacker in the fifth game of the season and finished second on the Monarchs in tackles. He notched 87 tackles and finished tied with a team-best 13.5 tackles for loss and recorded three sacks.

Vaughan finished second last year on the team with 60 receptions for 885 yards and seven touchdowns. He had 14.8 yards a catch and four 100-yard receiving games. He caught a career-best 12 passes for 143 yards in the win over New Hampshire and notched a career-best 146 receiving yards in the FCS quarterfinals against Georgia Southern. Vaughan also earned third-team honors as a punt returner. He returned seven punts for 92 yards including a 70-yard touchdown return to give ODU a lead that they never surrendered in the victory over William and Mary.

Pinkard caught 55 passes for 830 yards and seven scores in 2012. He averaged 15.1 yards per catch and caught fire in the playoffs, recording six catches for a career-best 154 yards and three touchdowns in the playoff victory over Coastal Carolina. He notched a career-high seven catches for 83 yards in the quarterfinals versus Georgia Southern.

A senior to be, Lowney has started 31-straight games for the Monarchs and earned all-conference and All-American honors in 2012. A team captain for 2013, Lowney has played three different positions up front for ODU.

Owens had 34 tackles and recorded two sacks on the year, both against Villanova. He made six starts on the season and recorded his first career interception in the FCS playoffs against Coastal Carolina.

Notre Dame had 25 players named to the team while BYU had 13, followed by Navy and New Mexico State with 12, ODU with nine, Army had seven and Idaho had four.

ODU opens the 2013 season on Aug. 31 at East Carolina.