The University of Arkansas at Monticello football team has been picked 8th in the 2017 Great American Conference Preseason Football Poll.
2017 GAC FOOTBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Southern Arkansas (110 points, five first place votes)
2. Harding (107 points, five first place votes)
3. Henderson State (106 points, two first place votes)
4. Ouachita (90 points)
5. Southeastern Oklahoma State (82 points)
6. Arkansas Tech (80 points)
7. Southwestern Oklahoma State (60 points)
8. Arkansas-Monticello (44 points)
9. Northwestern Oklahoma State (40 points)
10. East Central (38 points)
11. Oklahoma Baptist (24 points)
12. Southern Nazarene (11 points)
UAM concluded the 2016 season with a 4-7 record and an 8th place finish in the final Great American Conference standings. The Weevils picked up wins over Southwestern Oklahoma State, Oklahoma Baptist, Ouachita, and East Central.
Arkansas-Monticello will return multiple key players including senior wide-receiver Jalen Tolliver, who led the GAC in receiving touchdowns (14), receiving yards (1,090), receptions (69), receptions per game (6.3), and receiving yards per game (99.1) in 2016. The Weevil offense will also return sophomore quarterback Cole Sears (2,972 passing yards, 24 passing touchdowns), and junior running back Imani Riley (611 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns).
The defense will see several returning starters including the Weevils’ 2016 leading tackler, senior Ja’lon Watts (66 tackles, 11.5 TFL), and sophomore defensive back Christian Jefferson who finished the year with 59 tackles and one interception. Linebacker and senior Wesley Williams also returns to the defensive squad in 2017 after putting up 55 tackles, and recorded one interception.
Seventh-year head coach Hud Jackson sees 52 total letterman returning from the 2016 campaign, along with 22 seniors, six offensive starters, and seven defensive starters.
The Weevils open the 2017 season at home against GAC opponent Southwestern Oklahoma State at Cotton Boll Stadium with kick-off slated for 6 p.m. in Monticello.