College Sports

Why Keelan Doss and his 'big old mitts' highlight local college preseason honors

UC Davis receiver Keelan Doss, center, scores a touchdown against Sacramento State in the Causeway Classic on Nov. 18 at Hornet Stadium. Doss on Monday was named the Big Sky Conference’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
UC Davis receiver Keelan Doss, center, scores a touchdown against Sacramento State in the Causeway Classic on Nov. 18 at Hornet Stadium. Doss on Monday was named the Big Sky Conference’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Sacramento Bee file

UC Davis’ football season doesn’t start until late next month, but Keelan Doss is still catching accolades.

The senior receiver — who in December was the first Aggies player in eight years to be named to The Associated Press’ Football Championship Subdivision All-America first team — was named the Big Sky Conference’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.

“Keelan is the best receiver I have ever coached,” UC Davis coach Dan Hawkins told The Bee last year. “No doubt, no doubt. Great hands, unbelievable hands, big old mitts.”

Doss, who was named to Athlon Sports’ Preseason FCS All-America Team last month, and UC Davis tight end Wesley Preece (Rocklin High) were named to the Preseason All-Conference Team on Monday at the Big Sky media day in Spokane, Wash.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thankful, can’t wait for the season! <a href="https://t.co/z5sklPJRp7">https://t.co/z5sklPJRp7</a></p>&mdash; KeelanDoss (@keelandoss) <a href="https://twitter.com/keelandoss/status/1018983192252968960?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 16, 2018</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

They’ll join three Sacramento State players on the honorary roster: safety Mister Harriel (Antelope High), wide receiver Andre Lindsey and defensive end George Obinna.

Montana linebacker Josh Buss took the conference’s top defensive player honors.

While both teams received some individual honors, Sacramento State and UC Davis didn’t fare as well in the Big Sky preseason polls. The Hornets were fifth in the Coaches’ Poll and seventh in the Media Poll. The Aggies were ninth in both polls, but received one first-place vote among the media. Eastern Washington topped both lists for the 13-team conference.

Still, the Aggies and Hornets each made the FCS top 25 on some national polls released last month.

UC Davis opens its season Aug. 30 at San Jose State, and Sacramento State kicks off the 2018 campaign at home against St. Francis on Sept. 1.

The Causeway Classic rivals will meet Nov. 17 at Aggie Stadium in a regular-season finale for both teams. Sacramento State won last year’s meeting 52-47 at Hornet Stadium.

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