The WAC, which last played as an FBS league in 2012, has been reconfigured as an FCS conference – and one whose football membership will remain in flux.
Jacksonville State, Central Arkansas and Eastern Kentucky will enjoy a “challenge” with the WAC before joining the newly formed (for football) Atlantic Sun in 2022.
Dixie State and Tarleton remain transitional members at the Division I FCS level and are not eligible for a playoff bid until 2024. UTRGV will launch a football program no later than 2024 and is expected to join the WAC as well.
Predictions (with links to full team previews)
- Sam Houston Bearkats (reclaimed former place near top of FCS, and don’t intend to let it go.
- Jacksonville State Gamecocks open ’21 slate with UAB and Florida State.
- Central Arkansas Bears were 5-4 vs. tough schedule in the fall.
- Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks are a mystery team after playing an FBS, D-II-heavy schedule last fall.
- Eastern Kentucky Colonels participated in fall, went 3-3 vs. FCS.
- Abilene Christian Wildcats were 1-5 in fall, but losses included three FBS foes.
- Lamar Cardinals are still in development mode but showed promise.
- Tarleton Texans’ 43-17 blowout of FBS New Mexico St got some attention.
- Dixie State Trailblazers (2-3 in spring) split with Tarleton.
|2021 ASUN/WAC AQ7 Football Preseason Coaches Poll|
|Pl.||Team||1st Place Votes||Points||2020-21 Record|
|4.||Stephen F. Austin||27||6-4|
2021 WAC Preseason Football Coaches Poll
|Rank||Team (1st Place)||Points|
|1.||Sam Houston (5)||20|
|2.||Stephen F. Austin (1)||16|
2021 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Eric Schmid, Jr., QB, Sam Houston
2021 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Jahari Kay, Sr., DL, Sam Houston
2021 Preseason All-WAC Offense
QB – Eric Schmid, Jr., Sam Houston
RB – Quali Conley, Fr., Dixie State
RB – Ramon Jefferson, Jr., Sam Houston
WR – Tariq Bitson, Gr., Tarleton
WR – Jequez Ezzard, Gr., Sam Houston
WR – Xavier Gipson, So., Stephen F. Austin
TE – Isaac Schley, Gr., Sam Houston
OL – Eleasah Anderson, Jr., Sam Houston
OL – Zach Ingram, Sr., Stephen F. Austin
OL – Zachary Perry, Sr., Tarleton
OL – Prince Pines, So., Sam Houston
OL – Colby Thomas, Sr., Sam Houston
2021 Preseason All-WAC Defense
DL – Jahari Kay, Sr., Sam Houston
DL – Trace Mascorro, Sr., Sam Houston
DL – Brandon Thompson Jr., Jr., Stephen F. Austin
DL – Joseph Wallace, Sr., Sam Houston
LB – Quentin Brown, Jr., Sam Houston
LB – Brevin Randle, So., Stephen F. Austin
LB – Trevor Williams, Jr., Sam Houston
LB – Ronnell Wilson, Sr., Tarleton
DB – Devin Hafford, Sr., Tarleton
DB – Zyon McCollum, Sr., Sam Houston
DB – Anthony Ruffin, Jr., Lamar
DB – Jaylen Thomas, Sr., Sam Houston
2021 Preseason All-WAC Special Teams
K – Seth Morgan, Fr., Sam Houston
P – Matt McRobert, Sr., Sam Houston
KR – Jequez Ezzard, Gr., Sam Houston
ASUN Football Preseason All-Conference Team
Offensive Player of the Year: Tyler Hudson, Central Arkansas
Defensive Player of the Year: Nicario Harper, Jacksonville State
QB | Breylin Smith, Central Arkansas, Jr., Conway, Ark.
RB | Josh Samuel, Jacksonville State, Jr., Greenville, S.C.
TE | Sam Camargo, Central Arkansas, Sr., Kissimmee, Fla.
WR | Tyler Hudson, Central Arkansas, So., Spring, Texas
WR | Lujuan Winningham, Central Arkansas, Jr., Humble, Texas
WR | Jacquez Jones, Eastern Kentucky, Jr., Clearwater, Fla.
OL | Tylan Grable, Jacksonville State, So., Gordon, Ga.
OL | Jaylin Hendrix, Central Arkansas, Jr., Everman, Texas
OL | Cam Hill, Jacksonville State, Jr., Montgomery, Ala.
OL | Payton Collins, Eastern Kentucky, Fr., Columbus, Ohio
C | Toby Sanderson, Central Arkansas, Sr., Edmond, Okla.
AP | Jyran Mitchell, Eastern Kentucky, So., Matteson, Ill.
DL | DJ Coleman, Jacksonville State, Jr., Atlanta, Ga.
DL | Logan Jessup, Central Arkansas, So., Wynne, Ark.
DL | Quinten Floyd, Eastern Kentucky, Jr., Frankfort, Ky.
DL | JW Jones, Central Arkansas, Sr., Rayville, La.
LB | Matthew Jackson, Eastern Kentucky, Jr., Nashville, Tenn.
LB | Jaylen Swain, Jacksonville State, Fr., Oxford, Ala.
LB | TJ Campbell, Central Arkansas, Jr., Southaven, Miss.
LB | Marshall Clark, Jacksonville State, So., Munford, Ala.
DB | Nicario Harper, Jacksonville State, So., Atlanta, Ga.
DB | Cameron Godfrey, Central Arkansas, Jr., Spring, Texas
DB | Joseph Sayles, Eastern Kentucky, Jr., Alpharetta, Ga.
DB | DeAndre Lamont, Central Arkansas, Jr., Baytown, Texas
K | Hayden Ray, Central Arkansas, Jr., Bryant, Ark.
P | Jack Dawson, Jacksonville State, Fr., Sylvania Waters, Australia
RS | Cameron Myers, Central Arkansas, So., Plant City, Fla.
Rob Butler is a lifelong Texas A&M football fan – his family is full of A&M graduates. He graduated from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas with two degrees – a BBA in Finance and an MBA. His hobbies include jogging and reading books pertaining to college football.