LIBERTY, Mo. – After a quarterfinal appearance in the 2015 NCAA Division II playoffs, the Tuskegee University Golden Tigers begin the 2016 season ranked 19th in the D2football.com preseason poll released Monday.
Tuskegee, 10-3 a season ago, is the only school from the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) ranked in the poll. The Golden Tigers do not face anyone ranked in the preseason poll, however, they are third in teams from the region ranked in the poll. They trail West Georgia (second) and North Alabama (eighth), while being ranked above Valdosta State (23rd) in the first poll. [easyazon_infoblock align=”right” cart=”y” cloak=”n” identifier=”B00M04M9OY” locale=”US” tag=”hbcusports-20″]
The top 10 includes defending national champion Northwest Missouri State, West Georgia, Grand Valley State, CSU-Pueblo, Minnesota State, Shepherd, Ashland, North Alabama, Ferris State and Central Missouri.
The next 10 include Midwestern State at 11, Emporia State, Minnesota State, Humboldt State, Indiana (Pa.), Henderson State, Slippery Rock, Texas A&M-Commerce, Tuskegee and Sioux Falls.
Colorado School of Mines, Augustana, Valdosta State, Pittsburg State and Indianapolis round out the top 25.
Jonah McCutcheon Gets All-America Nod
On the same day, junior safety Jonah McCutcheon earned his fourth preseason All-American nod as he was named a First Team selection by Hero Sports. The junior, who was named First Team Preseason All-SIAC, earned All-Conference and All-Region honors to go with his two All-American selections last season. The junior started all 13 games last season and led the team with seven interceptions. He also recorded 40 tackles which included 21 solo stops and recorded 2.5 tackles for loss. McCutcheon recorded five pass breakups and a fumble recovery en route to leading the Golden Tigers to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II playoffs.
The selection is the fourth for McCutcheon who earned BOXTOROW All-American honors, as well as preseason honors from The Sporting News and FootballGameplan.com earlier this summer.
Tuskegee opens the season on the road at Clark Atlanta. Kick off time for the season opener is 7 pm (eastern) and the game will be carried on the American Sports Network.
Courtesy: Tuskegee Athletics