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SLU Picked 15th in Athlon Sports FCS Preseason Top 25 – Southeastern Lions Athletics

HAMMOND, La. –  The Southeastern Louisiana football team was ranked 15th in the Athlon Sports 2021 FCS Preseason Top 25, which was released on Wednesday.
SLU is the highest ranked Southland Conference team in the Athlon Sports poll, as it is joined by No. 24 Nicholls. The entire top 25 is available at
Southeastern, which finished the 2020-21 season as one of the last four out of the 16-team FCS playoff field, finished the season ranked 20th in the Stats Perform media poll and was tabbed 21st in the AFCA Coaches Poll.
The Lions return 60 letter winners from last season’s roster, including 16 All-Southland Conference performers. SLU has finished ranked nationally in each of the past two seasons and is poised for a special fall.
Recipient of the Heisman Trophy of FCS, Walter Payton Award winner Cole Kelley returns under center for a Lion offense that returns its entire starting offensive line that features a quartet – Jalen Bell, Drew Jones, Rendon Miles-Character and Ethan McMullan – of All-Southland performers. Kelley will have plenty of weapons to work with, as Southeastern returns seven of its top 10 receivers from the spring – including all-conference targets CJ Turner, Austin Mitchell and Damien Dawson.
New defensive coordinator Raymond Monica‘s unit is led by two-time All-American defensive back Ferlando Jordan, who is joined in the secondary by fellow returning all-league honorees Donniel Ward-Magee and Jack Henderson. The Southland’s leading tackler last spring Alexis Ramos – a multi-time all-conference choice – and fellow All-Southland honoree Herman Christophe return at linebacker.
All-Southland selection Darrius Harry returns up for what should be a revitalized front four buoyed by the return from injury of Josh Carr Jr., Nelson Jenkins III, John Graves III and Cherif Seye, among others.
The special teams unit will be anchored by a pair of second team All-Southland honorees in punter Austin Dunlap and kicker Mateo Rengifo. Long snapper Korey Karbowsky and holder Jordan Loving both return after impressive debut seasons in their respective roles.
Southeastern will open fall practice on Aug. 6 in preparation for its opener on Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. versus North Alabama in Strawberry Stadium. Trips to Louisiana Tech (Sept. 11) and Central Connecticut State (Sept. 18) round out the nonconference slate.
SLU’s eight-game league schedule will see it face its in-state Southland rivals – Northwestern State (Sept. 25 – home; Oct. 23 – away), McNeese (Oct. 2 – away; Oct. 30 – home) and Nicholls (Oct. 9 – away; Nov. 18 – home) – twice. The Lions will host Houston Baptist on Oct. 16 for Homecoming and travel to UIW on Nov. 6.
Athlon Sports 2021 Preseason Top 25
1. James Madison
2. North Dakota State
3. Sam Houston
4. South Dakota State
5. Delaware
6. Weber State
7. North Dakota
8. Montana State
9. Southern Illinois
10. Jacksonville State
11. Montana
12. Monmouth
13. Central Arkansas
14. Northern Iowa
15. Southeastern Louisiana
16. Villanova
17. UC Davis
18. VMI
19. Eastern Washington
20. Chattanooga
21. Kennesaw State
22. New Hampshire
23. Austin Peay
24. Nicholls
25. Missouri State
On the Cusp: Albany, Florida A&M, Furman, Illinois State, Murray State, North Carolina A&T, Rhode Island, Richmond, Sacramento State, UIW.
For more information on Southeastern Football, follow @LionUpFootball and @Coach_Scelfo on Twitter, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.
Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the football program are encouraged to join the Touchdown Club. Lion football alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners.
All membership fees and donations to both the Touchdown Club and S Club (football) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern football program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at [email protected] or (985) 549-5091 or visiting
Southeastern Athletics instituted a clear bag policy for all ticketed events, effective with the start of the 2018 football season. For more information on the clear bag policy, visit

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