Bowling Green, Ky. - More preseason honors continue to roll in for the Western Kentucky University football team as senior running back Bobby Rainey and senior offensive lineman Wes Jeffries have been named to the Blue Ribbon Football Yearbook preseason all-Sun Belt Conference team.
Both were also among the Hilltoppers selected to the Phil Steele preseason all-league team released last month.
The 2010 Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team all-league selection, Rainey had a season for the record books in 2010, finishing third in the nation in rushing (137.42 yards per game) while leading the nation in rushing attempts with 340. The attempts are also a WKU record, while his total rushing yards (1,649) rank second on the WKU single-season list - falling 19 shy of the record. He earned honorable mention All-America honors from SI.com at the end of last season, and was recently named a preseason All-America pick by Consensus Draft Service.
Rainey's 1,879 yards from scrimmage represented 49.23 percent of WKU's 3,817 total team yards. He hit 100 rushing yards nine times this season, and enters next season with a streak of five straight 100-yard performances. The Griffin, Ga., product accounted for 15 of WKU's 21 rushing touchdowns on the season, finishing with two scores in six games. He also finished 11th in the nation, averaging 156.58 all-purpose yards in 2010.
A big part of WKU's rushing success, Jeffries started all 12 games at left tackle last season, making him one of just two Hilltopper linemen to start every game in 2010. The Bowling Green native graded out at over 80 percent 11 times and registered 40 knockdown blocks in league play - including a season-high 11 against Middle Tennessee. His efforts helped lead a Hilltopper offensive line that allowed the fifth-fewest sacks in the Sun Belt.
The Blue Ribbon forecast projected Florida International to win the conference title, with the Hilltoppers picked to finish sixth in the league race.
The Hilltoppers will open the 2011 season in the national spotlight as they take on Kentucky at 8:15 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday, Sept. 1, at L.P. Field in Nashville. The game will be televised on ESPNU. Tickets for the UK game, as well as season tickets for the six home games at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium can be purchased through the WKU Ticket Office by calling 1-800-5-BIG RED or visiting www.wkusports.com.
- WKU -