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Monmouth Football is Favored to Win Big South

On Feb. 11, 2021, Monmouth University was selected as the favorite to finish in first place in the 2021 Big South Spring Football Preseason Poll.

Football is back! In the 2021 Big South Spring Football Preseason Poll, Monmouth earned 44 points with Kennesaw State coming in second, earning 43 but the Hawks obtained six of a possible 10 first place votes.

Following Kennesaw State is Charleston Southern in third and Gardner-Webb and Robert Morris tied for fourth. Typical Monmouth opponents, Campbell, Hampton, and Northern Alabama were ineligible due to opting out of the spring season.

This is a very exciting time for the Hawks as last week; they were also selected 21st nationally in the Athlon Preseason Football Championships Series (FCS) Poll in addition to 22nd in the HeroSports preseason poll.

FB 2As we approach the largely anticipated season, the Hawks will be without their former key players such as alumni, Pete Guerriero and Shawn Clark but there are big impact players who are expected to put on quite a show.

On offense, eight returning starters have set over 40 team, game, and individual records in 2019.

In the 2019 season, senior wide receiver, Lonnie Moore tied the Monmouth record with 74 receptions and was third in the league in all-purpose yards with 1,022 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

At kickoff returner, Moore has earned preseason All-American recognition after he averaged 27.8 yards per return in addition to setting the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) FCS record with a 93-yard touchdown return in the second-round game against James Madison. Moore ended the 2019 season with 19 returns for 529 yards.

In 2019, as a redshirt freshman, junior wide receiver, Terrance Greene Jr. was a second team selection racking in a team-high of 10 touchdowns with 65 catches for 916 yards.

Offensive linemen, graduate student, AJ Farris and senior Justin Szuba pummeled their opponents during their last season, coming out on top as the top offense in the conference. Individually they each had outstanding 2019 seasons. Farris earned STATS All-American honors and Third Team AP while Szuba became a sophomore All-American selection by HeroSports.

FB 3Senior, Gene Scott is a returning standout tight end with exceptional blocking skills. In the 2019 season, he had three receptions for 36 yards.

As for redshirt running back, Juwon Farri, he’s expected to have a solid season after missing the 2019 season and earning 2018 Big South Offensive Freshman of the year. He led the league in rushing with 1,024 yards and on top of that, earning first team all-conference honors.

Linebacker, Da’Quan Grimes has earned preseason all-league honors following last season when he racked up 115 tackles (highest on the team and third in the Big South). He also finished 2019 with 13.5 tackles for a loss and led the league in forced fumbles.

Leading the elite Monmouth defense are defensive backs, Anthony Budd and Justin Terry. Budd, who was first in the conference in interceptions, made 66 tackles and 37 solo stops, in addition to eight pass breakups. During the 2019 season, Terry earned first team all-league with 62 tackles and 10 passes defended.

Head Coach, Kevin Callahan will be entering his 28th season in command. The Hawks had their first practice on Friday, Feb. 12 and their first game will be on Mar. 13 against Robert Morris.

PHOTOS COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics