HERO Sports welcomes you to "Three-a-Days" where we will preview every single one of the 126 FCS programs from June 17 to August 6. Then, we'll preview all 13 conferences from August 12-15. Today, we present … Wagner.
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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Wagner (4-7 IN 2018)
NEC (Wagner finished 4th in the FCS)
COACH: Jason Houghtaling – At School: 5th Year (15-29) Overall: Same
LAST FCS POSTSEASON: 2012 (Second Round)
2018 OFFENSE: 28.0 ppg (58th in FCS)
2018 DEFENSE: 39.7 ppg (111th in FCS)
KEY GAME: Oct. 26 @ Duquesne: The reigning NEC champs are picked to win it all again. We expect this conference to be competitive once again, though, and Wagner could make the title race interesting with an upset here.
SUM IT UP: After a middle-of-the-pack season for Wagner in 2018, the Seahawks hope some new faces in its starting lineup can step up right away and improve on the 3-3 NEC record.
Just three starters return on offense and six starters are back on defense.
Last year's starting quarterback Brady Hudik and All-American running back Ryan Fulse, who finished second in the FCS in rushing yards last season, are gone. Wagner is looking at a couple of transfers to fill those spots. Christian Alexander is a graduate transfer quarterback from Florida International University. Alexander stepped in for the injured starter and led FIU to a 2018 Bahamas Bowl win, throwing for 209 yards and a touchdown along with 83 rushing yards. RB Marquez Trigg is a grad transfer from Western Kentucky, where he rushed for 487 career yards and two touchdowns.
Chris Gangarossa and Tyler Piekarz are back on the offensive line and tight end Adam Giordano, who was the team's second-leading receiver last year, also returns.
The defense is led by linebacker Cam Gill, one of the top linebackers in the FCS and a HERO Sports Preseason All-American. Tevaughn Grant and Santoni Graham add experience to the linebacking group while Julian McCleod and Chris Williams bring valuable experience on the defensive line. The secondary needs to find some new starters with cornerback Myron Morris the lone player coming back.
OUR TAKE: Wagner needs its new-look offense to gel in a hurry with a tough nonconference slate. The Seahawks' first four games come against FBS opponents UConn and FAU, 2018 playoff participant Stony Brook and then a non-D1 game against East Stroudsburg. This team should be well-tested before NEC games hit. Wagner is one of those teams — with so many new starters and some new players coming into the program — where we have to see the team in action before determining where it'll finish in the NEC standings. But if some of the new weapons can click on offense and the experienced defense can lock down a bit more, the Seahawks should remain competitive in the conference. We just aren't sure yet if they can climb into being a Top 3 team.
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COUNTDOWN: The Best Player in FCS Who Wears Each Number, 1-99
TOP RETURNEE: Sr./LB Cam Gill (HERO Sports Preseason All-American, 24 TFLs and 13.5 sacks)
THE FOUNDATION: Sr./LB Santoni Graham (All-NEC 1st Team, 99 tackles); Sr./DL Chris Williams (AC 2nd Team, 25 tackles and 6.5 TFLs); Sr./OL Chris Gangarossa (Starting LT last year); Jr./OL Tyler Piekarz (Returning starter); Jr./WR Joshua DeCambre (Top returning pass catcher, 16 rec. for 215 yards); Jr./P Eric Silvester (Preseason All-NEC, 39.4 punt average last year)
TOP NEWCOMER: Gr./QB Christian Alexander (FIU transfer, led FIU to a bowl win last year)
THE QUOTE: 'I'm excited about this group and salute our coaching staff for their hard work in attracting these young men to Wagner College. They're all quality individuals with the potential to develop into outstanding student-athletes here on Grymes Hill." — Head Coach Jason Houghtaling said
WERE WE RIGHT?: Last Year's Wagner Preview
FCS 2020 NFL PROSPECTS: The List
BEST FCS TRADITIONS: The List
PREVIEWS: The Rest Of The NEC
SUBSCRIBE: HERO Sports FCS Podcast