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Lions football ranked #17 in preseason poll

Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 | Views: 1356

Lions football ranked #17 in preseason poll

HAMMOND, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana football team will enter the 2020 season with high expectations, as the Lions were ranked No. 17 in the Athlon Sports Preseason Top 25, which was released on Tuesday.

SLU is coming off a 2019 campaign that saw the program return to the FCS playoffs for the third time in school history, finishing the season ranked nationally in both the FCS Coaches (18th) and Stats Perform (19th) polls. The full Athlon Sports Preseason Top 25, including capsules on each team, is available at https://athlonsports.com/college-football/athlon-sports-preseason-fcs-top-25-2020.

Southeastern finished 8-5 a season ago and earned victories over nationally-ranked Jacksonville State and Central Arkansas during the regular season. In its first playoff game since the 2014 season, 2019 Southland Conference Coach of the Year Frank Scelfo's squad hosted No. 8 Villanova and earned a thrilling 45-44 win over the Wildcats.

Southeastern returns its three leading wide receivers – CJ Turner, Austin Mitchell and Javon Conner - and the team leader – quarterback Cole Kelley - in rushing touchdowns from a 2019 offense that was among the most prolific in FCS. 2019 All-American Ferlando Jordan will lead the Lion secondary, while the team's leading tackler and All-Southland selection Alexis Ramos, as well as HERO Sports Sophomore All-American Josh Carr Jr. are among the standout returnees on the front seven for new defensive coordinator Chris Lachney.

The Athlon Sports prognostications indicate the race for the Southland Conference will be as competitive as ever. The Lions are among four teams ranked in the preseason top 25, along with No. 11 Central Arkansas, No. 14 Nicholls and No. 16 Sam Houston State. Jacksonville State, which Southeastern travels to on Sept. 19, is No. 24 in the poll.

The Lions will open the 2020 season at Tulane on Thursday, Sept. 3. SLU opens Southland play on Sept. 26, hosting McNeese at 6 p.m. at Strawberry Stadium.

2020 Athlon Sports Preseason Top 25
1. North Dakota State
2. Northern Iowa
3. Weber State
4. James Madison
5. Montana State
6. South Dakota State
7. Montana
8. Villanova
9. Illinois State
10. Kennesaw State
11. Central Arkansas
12. Sacramento State
13. Austin Peay
14. Nicholls
15. New Hampshire
16. Sam Houston State
17. Southeastern Louisiana
18. Furman
19. Southern Illinois
20. Eastern Washington
21. The Citadel
22. Wofford
23. Albany
24. Jacksonville State
25. Towson

Southeastern 2020 opponents in bold italics

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