DOVER, Del. - The Wesley College Football team was ranked fourth in the nation in the Lindy's Sports Annual Preseason Poll released this past week. Four returning Wolverines were named Preseason All-Americans by the college football publication as well.
Wesley made their 11th consecutive playoff appearance last season, thumping Framingham State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament before edging out Johns Hopkins 42-37 to earn their seventh straight trip to the quarterfinal round. The Wolverines bowed out to eventual national champions Mount Union, falling to the Purple Raiders 56-35.
The squad returns five offensive starters, including three 2015 D3football.com All-Americans. D3Football.com All-Region linebacker Samer Manna and All-Region defensive back Andre Connally are among seven returning starters on the defensive side.
Wesley will look to repeat their performance as one of the nation's most prolific offenses. The team averaged 46.8 points per game and nearly 600 yards of total offense per contest. The team will need to fill a void at the quarterback position after graduating Gagliardi Trophy winning signal-caller Joe Callahan.
The Wolverine defense should improve this season with seven of their starters back. The squad will also welcome the addition of Julian Jones back into the fold. Jones suffered a season-ending injury early in last year's campaign, but will finish his remaining eligibility this season and add a significant amount of experience in the middle of the defense alongside Manna at linebacker.
Wesley had four student-athletes named to the Lindy's Preseason All-American Teams. Wide receivers Bryce Shade and James Okike were named First Team Preseason All-Americans while offensive lineman Matthew Gono and linebacker Samer Manna were honored as Second Team Preseason All-Americans.
The Wolverines will begin their 2016 campaign on Friday, September 2 when they take on Delaware Valley College under the lights at Drass Field. The Aggies were ranked 13th in Lindy's Preseason Poll and should prove to be a worthy adversary.