EIU Places Four Players On Pre-Season All-America Team


Published on June 21 2013 6:51 am
Last Updated on June 21 2013 6:51 am
Written by Millie Lange

LEESBURG, Va. – Eastern Illinois football placed four players on the Beyond Sports Network 2013 preseason All-America Team including three players who earned first team recognition. Erik Lora, Collin Seibert and Cameron Berra were first team selections while Jimmy Garoppolo was a second team pick.

The Panthers had the most players selected on the first team as they have been ranked in the preseason Top 20 by several publications. Last season EIU won the Ohio Valley Conference regular season title making the program’s 14th NCAA FCS playoff appearance. Erik Lora and Jimmy Garoppolo both finished in the top ten for voting for the Walter Payton Award.

Lora was a consensus first team All-American last year setting the FCS single season record with 136 catches. He finished the year with 1,664 yards, the fourth highest total in FCS history. He was the OVC Offensive Player of the Year while finishing fourth in voting for the Walter Payton Award. In May he was named the OVC Male Athlete of the Year encompassing all sports.

Seibert was a first team All-OVC selection last season at left guard. He blocked for the nation’s number six unit in total offense that set school records in total offense (5,651 yards) and touchdown passes (34).

Berra was a first team All-OVC selection last year as a place kicker. Berra led the Panthers in scoring with 84 points making 12-of-13 field goals and 48-of-52 PAT’s. Berra was 5-of-5 on field goal attempts over 40 yards with a long of 44 at Illinois State. He was named an FCS Academic All-Star for the season.

Garoppolo was a second team All-OVC selection last year while finishing 10th in voting for the Walter Payton Award. Garoppolo set the OVC single season record for passing yards with 3,823. He finished the year completing 331-of-540 passes with 31 touchdowns. He had two games with more than 400 yards passing including a high of 453 with five touchdowns against Austin Peay.

The Panthers open the 2013 season on August 31 at San Diego State. EIU’s home opener is Sept. 14 in the Mid-America Classic against Illinois State. Season tickets are now on sale by calling 217-581-2106 or online at www.eiupanthertickets.com.