The Press Box Sports

NCAA FCS: SWAC Football Preview, Rankings, and Awards

Devante Kincade, Grambling State Tigers

The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) will be one of the toughest conferences this season in NCAA FCS football. There are several teams that can easily make the FCS football playoffs. Especially in the west division. Three teams will compete for the top honors, but Grambling State is the favorite by far. The Tigers are looking to go undefeated in conference play for a third straight season. Grambling quarterback Devante Kincade returns as the leading passer in the conference for the 2017 football season. Last season, Kincade completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,996 yards and 30 touchdowns to just 4 interceptions.

The Southern Jaguars will once again compete with Grambling in the SWAC West and just fell short last season. Southern has a good offense and probably the best defense in the SWAC so watch out for the Jaguars. In the East Division, Alcorn State looks to be the team to beat this season. The SWAC East Division isn’t nearly as tough as the west.  Fred McNair, the older brother of Alcorn State and NFL great Steve McNair is going into his second season as head coach for the Braves. While Prairie View A&M has some holes to fill after last season’s departures, the Panthers are still a good team and are expected to finish third in the West.


SWAC FOOTBALL PRESEASON POLL

EAST DIVISION

Ranking Team Points
1 Alcorn State Braves 80
2 Alabama State Hornets 66
3 Jackson State Tigers 59
4 Alabama A&M Bulldogs 45
5 Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils 10

WEST DIVISION

 

Ranking Team Points
1 Grambling State Tigers 85
2 Southern Jaguars 68
3 Prairie View A&M Panthers 59
4 Texas Southern Tigers 37
5 Arkansas – Pine Bluff Golden Lions 21

SWAC FOOTBALL PRESEASON AWARDS

Offensive Player of the Year – Devante Kincade – QB- Grambling State Tigers

Defensive Player of the Year Keontre Anderson – DE – Jackson State Tigers

First Team Offense

Position Player Team
QB Devante Kincade Grambling State Tigers
RB Martez Carter Grambling State Tigers
RB Jordan Bentley Alabama A&M Bulldogs
WR KhaDarel Hodge Prairie View A&M Panthers
WR Devohn Lindsey Grambling State Tigers
TE Dillon Beard Southern Jaguars
OL William Wadell Grambling State Tigers
OL Sam Baptiste Alabama State Hornets
OL Trent Scott Grambling State Tigers
OL Donovan Wheaton Prairie View A&M Panthers
OL Timothy Gardner Alcorn State Braves
KhaDarel Hodge Prairie View A&M Panthers

KhaDarel Hodge, Prairie View A&M

First Team Defense

Position Player Team
DL Deontre Anderson Jackson State Tigers
DL Aaron Tiller Southern Jaguars
DL Michael Brooks Alcorn State Braves
DL DeVohn Reed Prairie View A&M Panthers
LB Kenneth Davis Alabama A&M Bulldogs
LB Seth Jones Texas Southern Tigers
LB DeArius Christmas Grambling State Tigers
DB Danny Johnson Southern Jaguars
DB Everett Nicholas Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils
DB Tere Calloway Alabama A&M Bulldogs
DB Derek Dixon Grambling State Tigers
Keontre Anderson, Jackson State Tigers

Keontre Anderson, Jackson State Tigers

First Team Special Teams

Position Player Team
PK Nick Carden Alabama A&M Bulldogs
P Owen Hoolihan Prairie View A&M Panthers
RS Martez Carter Grambling State Tigers


Second Team Offense

Position Player Team
QB Austin Howard Southern Jaguars
RB Sta’Fon McCray Prairie View A&M Panthers
RB Da’Lance Turner Alcorn State Braves
WR Norlando Veals Alcorn State Braves
WR Darius Floyd Prairie View A&M Panthers
TE Jordan Jones Grambling State Tigers
OL Skylar Prol Southern Jaguars
OL Vincent Hunter Jackson State Tigers
OL Austin Simmons Alabama A&B Bulldogs
OL Alvin Solomon Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils
OL Deonte Brooks Alcorn State Braves
Austin Howard, Southern Jaguars

Austin Howard, Southern Jaguars

Second Team Defense

Position Player Team
DL Christopher Johnson Grambling State Tigers
DL James Harper Prairie View A&M Panthers
DL Brandon Varner Grambling State Tigers
DL Ramonte Bell Alcorn State Braves
LB Kentavious Preston Southern Jaguars
LB Malcolm Williams Grambling State Tigers
LB Shawn Bishop Jackson State Tigers
DB Ja’Terious Pouncey Grambling State Tigers
DB O.J. O’Neal Alcorn State Braves
DB Jamar Mitchell Southern Jaguars
DB Percy Cargo Grambling State Tigers
Ramonte Bell, Alcorn State Braves

Ramonte Bell (#50), Alcorn State Braves

Second Team Special Teams

Position Player Team
PK Trevor Vincent Alabama State Hornets
P Jamie Gillan Arkansas – Pine Bluff Golden Lions
RS Joshua Simmons Prairie View A&M Panthers


The biggest change in the SWAC this year is teams will play less conference games. Previously, teams played nine conference games and the new rule drops that number down to seven. Schools will now play all four teams in their division and three teams in the other division. The new rule will benefit the east division this year given that the better teams are in the west.

Look for Grambling State to win the SWAC championship again this season. The Tigers seem to have the best all-around team once again this season.

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