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Elon football ranked 11th, Messer earns pre-season All-America

The latest HERO Sports Preseason FCS Top-25 rankings announced Tuesday, June 12, has the Phoenix among the top teams in the country. 

Elon linebacker Warren Messer has been picked as a preseason All-American heading into his senior year. 

Coming in at No. 11, the Elon University football team was one of six CAA football programs ranked in the HERO Sports Preseason FCS Top 25 announced Tuesday, June 12. The organization also released its preseason All-America squads, with Elon linebacker Warren Messer checking in as a third-team honoree.

Messer, who will be a senior this fall, earned All-America honors from STATS FCS and Phil Steele following his junior campaign. The Garner, N.C., native finished 10th in the voting for the 2017 Buck Buchanan Award and ended the year ranked 25th nationally with 9.5 tackles per game. Elon's first CAA Football first-team all-conference performer, Messer posted a team-best 114 total tackles, including 11 for a loss and 5.5 sacks. He intercepted two passes and broke up three others, while forcing two fumbles. He also posted a team-high eight quarterback hurries.

Elon enters the 2018 campaign after an 8-4 season that included its second appearance in the FCS Playoffs. Under first-year coach Curt Cignetti, Elon posted a six-win improvement last season. Cignetti was named the CAA Football Coach of the Year and the team featured six all-conference players and the CAA Offensive Rookie of the Year. The Phoenix defeated four ranked opponents and made its first appearance in the national polls since the 2010 campaign. The team won eight straight games during the season, the fourthlongest such streak within a season in the history of the program.

Including the Phoenix, the HERO Sports preseason poll features six CAA Football programs. James Madison sits second, while New Hampshire (No. 7) and Delaware (No. 9) also earned top-10 spots. The other two league programs in the poll are Villanova (No. 17) and Stony Brook (No. 24). Elon will face JMU, New Hampshire and Delaware along with Furman (No. 16) in the 2018 season.

Earlier this offseason, Elon came in at No. 10 in the Athlon Sports preseason rankings. 

Season tickets for the 2018 season are currently on sale. To purchase season tickets, order online or contact the Elon Ticket Office at 336-278-6750. Fans can also purchase season tickets in person by stopping by the Elon Ticket Office, which is located on Elon's campus inside the Koury Athletic Center.

Owen Covington,
6/13/2018 8:30 AM