Alabama A&M – The Bulldogs enter the season with the title of champion on their mantle and the target of the champion on the backs. The team from Huntsville returns 15 starters (five offense, eight defense, two specialists) including 2006 SWAC Freshman of the Year Ulysses Banks and QB Kelcy Luke. Also returning are DE Chris Traylor and DB Frank Moore.

Alabama State – Coach Reggie Barlow brings the Hornets into this season with an abundance of optimism. Alabama State returns 67 letterwinners from last year’s team including eight offensive starters and seven defensive starters. Players to watch include RB Jay Peck and OL Ivora Hall on offense and LB Leland Jones and CB Jimmy Toussaint. QB Alex Engram has had a year at the helm and should be productive in 2007


Alcorn State – The Braves have been a team in contention for the conference title off and on over the last few years. This year, the Braves are looking to escape the championship shadow and make their mark on the conference. With eight returning starters on offense and five on defense, the Braves look to be a force throughout the year. WR Nate Hughes, QB Tony Hobson, and LB Lee Robinson will lead the team.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff – The Golden Lions enter 2007 with proven talent and high expectations. 2007 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Chris Wallace returns to lead an offensive unit returning five starters. LB Tim Turner and four other starters return on the UAPB defense – a unit that forced 26 turnovers last season. CB Steward Franks and WR Jason Jones will play vital roles in their march to return to Birmingham.

Grambling -Coach Rod Broadway brings the retooled Tigers into 2007; returning five offensive starters and eight defensive starters will be key as the Tigers look to escape the memory of a 3-8 season and look to return to the form that earned them a conference championship in 2005. QB Brandon Landers, OL Tavarus Cockrell, DL Jason Banks and LB Zaire Wilborn will have to lead the Tigers on the field.

Jackson State – The Tigers will return eight offensive starters and eight defensive starters – a statistic that should make them one of the more experienced squads in the conference. However, with high expectations in tow, the Tigers look to settle for nothing less than a trip to Birmingham in December. WR Chris Johnson, QB Jimmy Oliver and LB Daniel Brooks will be called upon to stand and deliver in 2007.

Mississippi Valley State – The Delta Devils were within one win of the championship game in 2006 while completing back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in 20 years. With an established offensive line and several standouts on defense, MVSU should be a title contender in 2007. Returining starters include OL Thad Coleman, WR Clarence Cotton, DL Ronald Green and DB Pierre Marshall.

Prairie View A&M – With a combined 14 returning starters on both offense (7) and defense (7), the Panthers enter 2007 with experience and talent. With a core crop of returners, the Panthers hope to move another step toward regaining the athletic prowess of the past. On the field, the Panthers will be led by QB Chris Gibson, WR, Gabrael Osaze-Ediae, LB Zach East and DB Val Ford.

Southern – The Jaguars return 22 offensive and 18 defensive lettermen (including six offensive and eight defensive starters). Wide receivers Gerard Landry and Del Roberts will be key components in the Jaguar offense under new coordinator Mark Orlando; preseason defensive player of the year Jarmaul George leads a unit that returns its top five tacklers from 2006.

Texas Southern – The Tigers return 17 of 22 starters (nine offensive, eight defensive) from last season’s squad. Playing a lot of close games last season, the Tigers expect to continue their growth. WR Daniel Davis and RB Brent Wilson along with DE Derrick Gray and LB Mike Boyd will be vital cogs in the Tigers’ run for a conference title.

HBCU Sports

TSPNSports.com/Cavil’s Classic Cuts HBCU Mid-Major Division Football Pre-season Top 10 Poll

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