The UT Martin football program received three more preseason accolades as senior offensive lineman Matthan Hatchie was named to the 2022 Stats Perform FCS Preseason All-America first team while graduate linebacker John H. Ford II and graduate safety Deven Sims were tabbed to the third team.
A native of Haleiwa, Hawai’i, Hatchie has been named a consensus Preseason All-American by several publications as the two-time All-OVC selection returns for his final season in the middle of the Skyhawk offensive line. Hailed as the fourth-best returning FCS offensive lineman in 2022 according to HERO Sports, Hatchie graded out at 89 percent or better in each game last season. Along with tallying 101 knockdowns he anchored an offensive line which ranked first in the OVC in sacks allowed (0.83/game) while only being responsible for one sack in 362 attempts. He showed his durability by playing every snap except mop-up time against Murray State while leading a team which paced the OVC with 239.3 rushing yards per game.
Ford who was recently tabbed the 2022 Preseason OVC Defensive Player of the Year proved to be a dynamic playmaker for one of the league’s best defenses by playing in all 13 games en route to All-OVC first team honors last season. The Nashville native racked up 88 total tackles – including four double-digit tackle performances – while notching 5.0 tackles for loss. He tallied four interceptions to rank tied for second in the OVC while returning a pick 75 yards for a touchdown against Tennessee State. He also garnered an OVC Defensive Player of the Week honor after tallying five tackles and a 66-yard interception return against Northwestern State.
Sims is a highly respected player after earning back-to-back All-OVC first team selections and was recently tabbed the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year pick by Lindy’s Sports. The Smyrna, Tenn. native is a three-year starter who is coming off his second straight season as the team-leader in tackles with 93 while notching 6.0 tackles for loss. He posted four games with double-digit tackle performances while setting season-highs with 11 stops against Austin Peay and Southeast Missouri. Last season he also recorded his first career interception in the OVC-clinching win at Tennessee Tech.
UT Martin opens the season on Thursday, Sept. 1 when playing host to Missouri Valley Football Conference foe Western Illinois. Kickoff from Hardy Graham Stadium is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Single game and season ticket packages are available to be purchased online at UTMSports.com/tickets, through the UT Martin Ticket Office by calling 731-881-7207 or by emailing [email protected]