1. Samford is likely not going to start playing stingy defense and running the ball. Chris Hatcher is the coach and he is what he is. They threw the ball nearly 200 times more than the next team in the SoCon last season.
2. I'm not sure how you gauge "meanness" on a preseason roster.
3. If Samford had a bunch of 6'5 315 pound offensive linemen that could dominate opposing defenses, run, and block, they would be playing for Alabama, not Samford.
4. High school numbers and rankings are perfectly irrelevant. A friend of mine played offensive tackle at Troy. He was 6'5 310 in college. Said he dominated at the high school level because he was simply bigger and stronger than everyone he played. At the D1 level, though, he became fairly mediocre. At this level, a vast size and strength advantage is significantly mitigated.
5. There are always exceptions, but many transfers simply are not talented enough to play where they currently are. Just because a guy gets a scholarship offer from "Big School U" doesn't make him a supremely talented football player. I cannot tell you how many transfers I've seen come into the SoCon with great fanfare that ended up never really even seeing the field. Happens every year.
6. Were I a Samford fan, I would be slightly concerned about the need to take on so many transfers. What message does this send to the players you recruited? Commit to the program but if we find some guy looking for a change of scenery, we will replace you? Again, if you are finding the need to take on half a dozen transfers, what does that suggest about recruiting efforts and the ability to create depth on your roster? So many holes you have to go find ringers to fill them?
I think Samford will be a good team. I do think they have established a deserved reputation of being a great September team, but not so hot in November. I do not currently see them as one of the top teams in the conference, but as we find out every year, there are always surprises.