Posted by Matt Sullivan on 1999-08-15
Samford University linebacker Fred Bishop continued to collect preseason awards Sunday when he was named the Division I-AA All-Independent Preseason Defensive Player-of-the-Year, in voting done by sports information directors at the 14 Division I-AA independent schools.

Bishop, from Tuscaloosa, was one of two Samford players to be named preseason All-Independent as he was joined by senior punter Brian Holmes. Bishop, a first-team Division I-AA All-Independent selection in 1998, recorded a career-high 136 tackles as a junior. The 5-foot-11, 235-pound Bishop has already been named a preseason first-team All-American by the Sporting News and was selected as Division I-AA Independent Defensive Player-of-the-Year by Street & Smith's.

Holmes, from Stone Mountain, Ga., was selected at punter after recording a 41.8 average last season with 12 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line. He established a new school record with a 76-yard punt last season against Troy State.

Hofstra placed six athletes, including quarterback Giovanni Carmazzi who was named preseason offensive player-of-the-year, on the squad. Liberty had four players on the team, while Elon College and Southern Utah had three players named. Samford, Charleston Southern, Morehead State, St. John's and South Florida each placed two players on the team.
 
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.