Location: Homewood, AL
Coach: Chris Hatcher (21-14)
Stadium: Seibert Stadium (Capacity: 6,700)
3rd: South Carolina
122nd: Division I
2017 In A Sentence: Samford made the playoffs again behind outstanding quarterback play, but continued its recent history as the league’s biggest tease, gutting out a conference title with a 8-3 record but a slow start doomed them at Kennesaw State in the FCS Playoffs, falling 28-17.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: LB Shaheed Salmon was the Bulldogs’ leading tackler and defensive stalwart. He notched 109 tackles in 11 games and tallied 15 1/2 tackles for loss as a key part of the Bulldog defense last season.
Key Player: QB Devlin Hodges already owns most of the Samford and SoCon record books, and has already established himself as one of the best QBs in all of FCS, completing 65.7% of his passes last year for 3,983 yards and 31 TDs. He returns almost all of his weapons on offense, too. Can he maintain and expand on the ability he’s shown to be the best quarterback in all of FCS?
Fearless Prediction: Despite a challenging schedule, Samford should have too many weapons on offense, and enough on defense returning, to win the SoCon again and make it back to the FCS Playoffs. Can they take the next step, though, and win some playoff games and make a run nationally?.
(Courtesy of E.M. Winslow)