Jacksonville State at Tennessee State
Jacksonville State at Tennessee State

No. 4 Jacksonville St. leads ASN dozen in Athlon's FCS Preseason Top 25

Jacksonville State, which ended last season the No. 2-ranked FCS team in the nation, is fourth in the Athlon FCS Preseason Top 25 — the highest preseason ranking in school history.

The defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Gamecocks (10-2 overall, 8-0 conference), No. 7 in the Sporting News' FCS Preseason Top 25, return seven starters on an offense that produced a school-record 510.8 yards per game, including quarterback Eli Jenkins (1,870 yards and 12 touchdowns passing, 813 and six touchdowns rushing) and wide receiver Josh Barge (56 catches for 919 yards and four touchdowns).

Athlon's rankings are compiled by Craig Haley of The Sports Network. The other ranked ASN-affiliated teams by conference:

  • CAA: Villanova at No. 5, New Hampshire at No. 9, James Madison at No. 14, Richmond at No. 20

  • Big South: Coastal Carolina at No. 7, Liberty at No. 12

  • Ivy League: Harvard at No. 22

  • Ohio Valley: Eastern Illinois at No. 15, Eastern Kentucky at No. 21

  • Southern: Chattanooga at No. 8, Western Carolina at No. 23

Athlon's FCS Preseason Top 25

  1. North Dakota State

  2. Illinois State

  3. Sam Houston State

  4. Jacksonville State

  5. Villanova

  6. Eastern Washington

  7. Coastal Carolina

  8. Chattanooga

  9. New Hampshire

  10. Youngstown State

  11. Northern Iowa

  12. Liberty

  13. Montana State

  14. James Madison

  15. Eastern Illinois

  16. McNeese State

  17. Montana

  18. Idaho State

  19. South Dakota State

  20. Richmond

  21. Eastern Kentucky

  22. Harvard

  23. Western Carolina

  24. Cal Poly

  25. Indiana State

On the cover: Jacksonville State's Eli Jenkins, who accounted for 2,683 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. (JSU photo courtesy Steve Latham)

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