SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack football team is ranked 14th in the FCS Coaches' Preseason Top-25 poll announced Southern Conference officials Monday afternoon. The Lumberjacks are the highest ranked of three Southland Conference schools in the poll.
The two-time defending Southland Conference champions, SFA returns 48 letter winners and 20 starters from a 2010 team that went 9-3 and made a return trip to the NCAA Division I playoffs. The Lumberjack offense returns eight starters including All-American receivers Cordell Roberson and Gralyn Crawford, and preseason All-America lineman George Bias.
The SFA defense also returns several standouts led by all-conference selections Devin Ducote and Derrick Choice at linebacker, and Josh Aubrey and Ben Wells in the secondary.
The Lumberjacks face a daunting slate in 2011, with three teams ranked among the top 25, including No. 7 Northern Iowa who SFA faces in the second week. The Lumberjack also travel to 2010 bowl participant Baylor and play host to Texas State who is in the first year of transition to the FBS level.
The Lumberjacks will place their national ranking on the line Thursday, Sept. 1, when they host McMurry. The game against the War Hawks is slated to begin at 6 p.m. from Homer Bryce Stadium.