2021 CSJ ASUN-WAC Challenge Fall Football Preview

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)

  1. Sam Houston Bearkats (reclaimed former place near top of FCS, and don’t intend to let it go.
  2. Jacksonville State Gamecocks open ’21 slate with UAB and Florida State.
  3. Central Arkansas Bears were 5-4 vs. tough schedule in the fall.
  4. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks are a mystery team after playing an FBS, D-II-heavy schedule last fall.
  5. Eastern Kentucky Colonels participated in fall, went 3-3 vs. FCS.
  6. Abilene Christian Wildcats were 1-5 in fall, but losses included three FBS foes.
  7. 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.Team1st Place VotesPoints2020-21 Record
1.Sam Houston74910-0
2.Central Arkansas 405-4
3.Jacksonville State 3710-3
4.Stephen F. Austin 276-4
5.Eastern Kentucky 203-6
6.Abilene Christian 151-5
7.Lamar 82-4

2021 WAC Preseason Football Coaches Poll

RankTeam (1st Place)Points
1.Sam Houston (5)20
2. Stephen F. Austin (1)16
5.Abilene Christian6

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.

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