Samford could be the team to watch this year in the Southern Conference. As coach Chris Hatcher leads his team into his second year, key coaching changes, a strong group of returning starters, and a great recruiting class could mean big changes ahead for a Samford program that has began to catch the eyes of NFL scouts and teams. Recruits are beginning to understand the significance of Samford University as well and with addition of a great replacement for former coach Pat Sullivan in Chris Hatcher, who had really began to ignite the program again, the program continues to improve.
When you look at the coaching staff, great additions were made with a new Strength and Conditioning coach, New Offensive Coordinator, Offensive Line coach, and Offensive Quality control additions. The offense will be coached very well. On the defensive side of the ball, not too many new additions, but a strong core group returns to lead Samford in 2016/2017.
When you talk about returning players, there are a lot to look forward to with (8) returning starters on the #7 offense in the nation last year and (7) on defense. On Offense, Devlin Hodges at quarterback, WR - Karel Hamilton, and a strong Offensive line led by NFL prospect Armondo Bounheur will make things difficult for any defense this year. On Defense, Tonne Osaigbovo will lead the linebacker core and strong defensive backs coached by former NFL player Sam Shade will anchor the defense.
The recruiting class includes the #33 center in the nation, the #86 Athlete in the nation (according to 247 sports) and numerous under rated talented players that had been missed by the bigger schools. Cudo's to the administration and coaching staff along with Ross Newton Director of Recruiting for bringing in such a talented group.
Picking Samford to win at least 8 games this year and as many as 10 with one loss to Mississippi State and two games that could go either way, at The Citadel and UT Chattanooga.