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2019 SoCon Preseason Poll

By Robbie Ross
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Southern Pigskin SoCon expert Robbie Ross breaks down his preseason rankings.

1. Wofford

Business as usual for the Terriers under new Head Coach Josh Conklin last year rushing for over 4,000 yards, winning a share of SOCON title and an appearance in the playoffs.  The Terriers must replace their top two rushers from last year Andre Stoddard and Lennox McAfee

2. Furman

The Paladins have risen to the top of the league in Clay Hendrix’s first two seasons; making a playoff appearance in 2017 and sharing the league crown last year.  Putting those two together this season will rely on who will be the Paladins signal caller replacing Harris Roberts, redshirt freshman Darren Grainger leads the way heading into fall camp. 


First year coach Randy Sanders led the Bucs to the biggest turnaround in the league last year.  Leading the way this season will be 2017 SOCON Freshman of the Year running back Quay Holmes who will help take some pressure off a new quarterback for the Bucs as Trey Mitchell, Cameron Lewis, Tyrique Sandusky and Tyler Riddell all come into fall camp competing for the job.  Tyree Robinson led the SOCON in interceptions in 2017 will anchor the Bucs defense. 

4. Mercer

The Bears are looking to avoid the injury bug that plagued them last season and jump up into the top of the standings in 2018.  The Bears have two quality quarterbacks returning in 2017 SOCON Freshman of the Year Kaelan Riley and Robert Riddle along with a good ground game led by Tyray Devezin.  On defense the Bears will be guided under new Defensive Coordinator Mike Adams who will have 8 returning starters to work with. 

5. Chattanooga

The Mocs are poised to be a team with the best chance to make a run back to the top of the standings this year under first year head coach Rusty Wright.  Nine starters return on offense led by quarterback Nick Tiano and receiver Bryce Nunnally.

6. Western Carolina

The Catamounts will rely heavily on their superb quarterback Tyrie Adams to lead them through a tough schedule in 2018.  The Catamounts have two FBS games at NC State and at Alabama along with tough league road games at Wofford and Chattanooga. 

7. Samford

Life after quarterback Devlin Hodges begins in Birmingham for Coach Chris Hatcher.  Hodges the SOCON player of the Year three straight seasons leaves the Bulldogs as the all-time leader in career passing yards on the FCS level.  The Bulldogs return a veteran Offensive Line and explosive wide-out Chris Shelling along with a seasoned defense to help stem the tide of losing Hodges.

8. The Citadel

The Bulldogs from the Low country return 10 starters on offense which is a good sign for Coach Brent Thompson.  Quarterback Brandon Rainey led the Bulldogs to a 3-1 finish in 2018 after taking over as the starter.  Defensively is where the Bulldogs will need to improve if they hope to return to the top of the standings.  New Defensive Coordinator Tony Grantham will use Linebacker Willie Eubanks III as the anchor on defense along with 2018 SOCON All-Freshman team members Chris Beverly and Mason Kinsey.

9. VMI

The Keydets return 19 of 22 starters to a club that as lost 22 straight league games dating back to the 2016 campaign.  Quarterback Reece Udinski passed or over 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns last season will need to match if not exceed that type of success if the Keydets want to make a move up the standings in 2018.

Robbie Ross - Robbie Ross is Southern Pigskin's lead SoCon writer. A 19-year veteran of the Furman Radio Network, Ross also spent time with the Georgia State Radio Network prior to his ventures with Southern Pigskin. He is a voter in the STATS FCS Top 25 Poll.