SALT LAKE CITY — Not many are expecting a dark horse to come out of the Big Sky Conference this season. Good thing, Weber State is no longer one.
Coming off back-to-back Big Sky Conference titles, the Wildcats are once again among the league favorites heading into the 2019 season.
Jay Hill’s squad was picked to finish third in the conference by both the league coaches and media in the Big Sky preseason polls announced on Monday as part of the Big Sky Kickoff in Spokane, Washington.
Weber State was slotted behind Eastern Washington and UC Davis — the two teams the Wildcats shared the league title with last season after they all finished with identical 7-1 conference records.
With nine all-conference players returning from last year's squad, the Wildcats seem poised to continue their run of recent success in the FCS. Weber State has made the FCS quarterfinals in two straight seasons and returns three players that earned All-America honors in junior return specialist Rashid Shaheed, senior defensive end Adam Rodriguez and sophomore running back Josh Davis.
Davis was named the FCS Freshman of the Year last season after finishing with 1,779 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns.
Davis, Rodriguez and Shaheed were named to the Big Sky Preseason Team along with kicker Trey Tuttle, offensive lineman Ty Whitworth, defensive end Jonah Williams and linebacker Auston Tesch.
Southern Utah, following a disappointing one-win season a year ago, was picked to finish 11th by the media and 12th by the coaches.
The Thunderbirds will look to rebound behind senior All-American center Zach Larsen.
2019 Big Sky Football Preseason Polls
- Eastern Washington (10) – 140
- UC Davis (2) - 127
- Weber State - 124
- Montana (1) - 104
- Montana State - 100
- Northern Arizona - 88
- Idaho State - 72
- Idaho - 65
- Cal Poly - 56
- Portland State - 42
- Sacramento State - 40
- Southern Utah - 38
- Northern Colorado - 19
- Eastern Washington (25) – 536
- UC Davis (13) – 510
- Weber State (4) – 472
- Montana State - 417
- Montana (1) – 396
- Northern Arizona - 302
- Idaho State - 285
- Idaho - 248
- Cal Poly - 196
- Portland State - 178
- Southern Utah - 160
- Sacramento State - 125
- Northern Colorado - 90