Carrollton, GA – Preseason optimism was already plentiful for the West Georgia Wolves’ 2018 football season. A national ranking from a prestigious, national magazine should only fuel the lofty expectations for the upcoming season.

UWG is ranked 16th nationally in NCAA Division II by Street & Smith College Football, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious preseason publications. The magazine cites a large, returning nucleus for coach David Dean following last season’s run to the second round of the Division II playoffs.

“We are honored to be ranked in the preseason, it speaks to the value placed on this program,” said Dean. However, the coach noted that it is the preseason, saying, “Everything is won and lost on the field, and we worry more about rankings in November and December. We’re more concerned with earned rankings.”

Leading the Wolves’ list of top returnees is running back Devontae Jackson. A first team All-America choice in 2017, Jackson was also GSC Offensive Player of the Year, and he became the first West Georgia player ever to be a finalist for the Harlan Hill Trophy. Also, quarterback Willie Candler and guard Quentin Stanford return to the offense after earning All-GSC kudos last year.

Defensively, the Wolves have a pair of All-GSC returnees back for 2018. Safety Montrell Pardue and end Chad Price were both honored by the league a year ago. Also, special teams star Tevin Isom returns to the Wolves following an All-GSC season a year ago.

West Georgia players report August 4 for the beginning of preseason practice. The 2018 season begins September 1 when Catawba visits Carrollton for a 2 p.m. kickoff on Ra-Lin Field.