HERO Sports welcomes you to "Three-a-Days" where we will preview every single one of the 126 FCS programs and all 13 conferences. Today, we present … the Colonial Athletic Association.
We'll leave no stone left unturned when it comes to giving the FCS diehards all they could ask for this offseason. Learn about every program in the country with HERO Sports.
[divider]MORE FCS FOOTBALL:
- FCS Home
- FCS Preview Schedule – Team Links
- The HERO Sports Preseason Top 25 Poll
- Preseason All-American Teams
Colonial Athletic Association
(NOTE: Team-by-team previews in this conference are below)
NAMES TO KNOW
THE NFL PROSPECT: Gavin Heslop, CB, Stony Brook
Heslop is projected by NFLDraftScout (Aug. 2019) to be a potential 7th rounder to high priority free agent, and FCS players tend to drift upwards their senior season.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYER: Tom Flacco, QB, Towson
Flacco threw for 3,251 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2018 while also rushing for 742 yards and four TDs for the Tigers — who qualified for the FCS Playoffs and look very strong once again.
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Maurice Jackson, DL, Richmond
He was a First Team All-CAA performer last year after racking up 10 sacks, 15 tackles for loss and forcing four fumbles. He finished the year with 46 tackles.
SUM IT UP: When the online acronym "SMH" came into existence — obviously indicating that I'm Shaking My Head — the creator of it was probably thinking about the 2019 CAA preseason preview. OK, maybe that's a stretch, but you catch my drift — because there are a lot of moving parts in the CAA this year. Will Maine and James Madison not being scheduled against one another be a help or a hindrance? Will Towson having to play both be great because the Tigers control their own destiny? Or is it a hindrance because they have to play both? Will the injury bug leave Villanova and New Hampshire alone for the first time in recent history? And the same goes for Elon after what the Phoenix endured in 2018.
And can programs that play brutally stingy defense, like Stony Brook and 'Nova, win with excellent defense but a lot of questions on offense? Oh, and which school is going to stun everybody after struggling recently (paging William & Mary and Albany)? That's been a trend in recent years (Maine in 2018, Elon in 2017). Also, how will national powerhouse James Madison respond to a new staff? Lot's of stuff here to ponder. So fasten your safety belts and hold on for the CAA roller coaster ride.
THE FAVORITE: Did you read the above? But seriously, we at HERO Sports have James Madison as the national title favorite, so it'd be dumb of us to say another team here. But the truth is, we could see another elite CAA program jump up here, but the Dukes look like clearly the best CAA team on paper with 20 starters back (when you count 2017 DB Rashad Robinson, who is back after injury).
THE THREATS: Do you have a second? We'll go in this order – Maine, then Towson. After that? Elon. And remember, Maine and James Madison don't play each other, so there's always a chance of a tie for the CAA regular-season title. Don't rule that out as a possibility.
THE DARKHORSE: This is where you pencil in a team like Villanova, a program with a ton of potential when the injury fates leave it alone (see 'Nova preview below, and Temple win prior to injuries in 2018).
FCS 2020 NFL PROSPECTS: The List
BEST FCS TRADITIONS: The List
PREVIEWS: The CAA
Albany | Delaware | Elon | James Madison
Maine | New Hampshire | Rhode Island | Richmond
Stony Brook | Towson | Villanova | William & Mary
Big Sky | Big South | CAA
Ivy | MEAC | MVFC
NEC | OVC | Patriot
Pioneer | SoCon | Southland | SWAC
SUBSCRIBE: HERO Sports FCS Podcast