USA College Football Preseason All-American List Names Five Florida Tech Panthers

By  //  June 20, 2015

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J.J. Sanders first team honoree

2015_USACFB_AA_Preseason-Florida-Tech-580-2

With the bulk of last season’s starting lineup returning to the Florida Tech football team, 2015 looks to be an exciting year. Proof of that came recently when five Panthers were named USA College Football Preseason All-America. (FIT Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – With the bulk of last season’s starting lineup returning to the Florida Tech football team, 2015 looks to be an exciting year. Proof of that came recently when five Panthers were named USA College Football Preseason All-America.

J.J. Sanders stands alone as the only first team honoree, while Manny Abad, Mark Cato, Matt Garcia and Chris Stapleton claimed second team accolades.

In 2014, Sanders led the conference in tackles per game (8.4), tackles for loss (17.5) and forced fumbles (4) despite missing the Panthers’ first two games of the season.

J.J. Sanders

J.J. Sanders

The Columbus, Ohio native also finished the season with 74 total tackles, including 41 solo stops, eight sacks totaling 96 yards, three pass breakups, three quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries.

Manny Abad

Manny Abad

Manny Abad was the GSC’s leader in pass breakups with nine. The Cuban native also tied for fourth in the conference in interceptions with three, giving him a total of 12 passes defended, most in the GSC.

In total, the redshirt sophomore tallied 36 tackles, including 21 solo stops, and also recovered a fumble. Additionally, Abad was named FIT’s first-ever CoSIDA Academic All-District selection.

Mark Cato

Mark Cato

Mark Cato earned eight of the 11 total conference freshman of the week honors after leading the GSC in passing touchdowns with 32, good for seventh in all of Division II.

The Alachua, Florida native also ranked second in the conference in passing yards, tallying 2,926 yards on the season.

Matt Garcia

Matt Garcia

Starting 10 of 11 games in 2014, Matt Garcia was key to a Panther attack that wreaked havoc on GSC defenses all season. FIT racked up 3,176 passing yards and 2,188 yards on the ground, scoring 35.6 points per game along the way.

Chris Stapleton

Chris Stapleton

Chris Stapleton led the GSC in total tackles with 90, including 52 solo stops. The Navarre, Florida native was second on the team in tackles for loss with 11 and sacks with five.

Additionally, the redshirt sophomore forced a fumble at West Georgia and recovered a fumble against Tarleton State.

Season tickets for the 2015 season are available.

Premium season tickets are only $70 for adults and $45 for FIT employees with ID, seniors ages 65 and above, and children ages 5-16.

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General admission season tickets are $50 for adults and $30 for FIT employees, seniors and children.

Season tickets can be purchased at FloridaTechSports.com, in-person by appointment at the Clemente Center Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by calling the FIT Ticket Office at 321-674-6228.


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