PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The defending Southland Conference Champion Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack football team is ranked eighth in the country according the Sports Network Preseason Top 25 Poll announced Monday afternoon. The 'Jacks are the highest ranked SLC team in the poll, and one of only two conference schools in the preseason poll.
SFA finished 2009 with a 10-3 overall record and No. 10 national ranking according to the Sports Network. The Lumberjacks return 40 letterwinners and 16 starters from last year's conference championship team. Two of the more notable returnees are preseason All-Americans Jeremy Moses and Jabara Williams.
Moses enters his final season as the school all-time leading passer and is on pace to set several new career standards at the conference level. He is also a leading candidate for the Walter Payton Award, FCS' version of the Heisman Trophy.
On the other side of the ball, Williams is considered one of the top returning linebackers in the country. A 2009 All-America selection, Williams is one of 20 athletes named to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List, an award given annually to the nation's top defensive player at the FCS level.
SFA is one of only six schools in the country that has a player named to both the Walter Payton and Buck Buchanan Award Watch Lists to start the season. The 'Jacks will begin defense of the conference title Saturday, Sept. 4, when they open the season at Texas A&M. The game against the Aggies is slated to begin at 6 p.m. from Kyle Field.