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 Southern Conference.
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.
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(NOTE: Team-by-team previews in this conference are below)
NAMES TO KNOW
THE NFL PROSPECT: Nasir Player, DL, ETSU
Player may the first ETSU product drafted since Donnie Abraham was taken in the third round by Tampa Bay in 1996. NFLDraftScout's early projection is a potential day three pick.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYER: Tyrie Adams, QB, Western Carolina
This is a no-brainer: Tyrie makes WCU a serious factor in the SoCon immediately. Ask the ACC and SEC if they like scheming for this guy — his stats back it up. He's a four-year starter.
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Nasir Player, DL, ETSU
Remember this name from above? He's a disruptive force and one of the big reasons the Bucs will once again be a factor under Coach Randy Sanders. Player is a Player, folks. Cue rolling eyes on corny writing. But folks, he's the real deal.
SUM IT UP: What do SoCon football and a pile of spaghetti have in common? They're both a lot of fun, they both are impossible to unravel, and both have a tendency to get a little bit messy at times. Folks, we typed nearly the same thing last year and we were right. We predicted that the winner of the SoCon would have two conference losses — and three teams did. And did you know that of the nine league teams, seven went at least 4-4 in the league? Talk about chopping each other up. Well gang, it's going to be that way again. It'll be a crazy year once again, nothing will be resolved before the final week — and we think the SoCon champ will have two league losses again.
THE FAVORITE: A nine-way tie for first place. No, seriously. OK, we have to put a team here and we do like what we're seeing with Wofford, plus the Terriers have the track record of knowing how to survive this gauntlet. We'll go with Wofford, but man this is a tough thing to pick.
THE THREATS: Everybody. No seriously, everybody. We're pretty sure every team in this league can hang with any other on any given day. How's that for parity (and yes, naysayers, we include VMI in that because we think the KeyDets are on the verge of something). I mean, think of this: Western Carolina was second to last place last year, but Tyrie Adams is the scariest player in the league this fall. Are you going to just mark down a 'W' against WCU this year? You'd better not. But if you forced us to type up a couple of teams for this category, we'd go with Furman, The Citadel, Chattanooga and ETSU. They all have nice contingents returning and could end up No. 1, too.
THE DARK HORSE: Mercer — I think I've put Mercer in this category for four straight years because I truly believe its day will come. This program is always in the mix, but can it push past it's usual 6-5 or 5-6 type season? We think this program has that ability.
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