STATESBORO -- In the newly released Lindy's Preseason FCS Top-25 poll, the Georgia Southern Football team was ranked seventh behind Appalachian State. For the second-straight season the Eagles were ranked in the preseason top-10 by Lindy's Football Magazine and are one of three Southern Conference teams in this year's top-10.
GSU finished third in the final FCS Coaches Poll and fourth in the Sports Network/Fathead.com poll after their second-straight FCS Semifinal run in 2012. The Eagles finished 2011 with an 11-3 record and won their 9th Southern Conference Title with a 7-1 league record.
The Eagles return eight starters on offense including SoCon Freshman of the Year Dominique Swope, who rushed for 1,023 yards and seven touchdowns. Swope tallied 165 yards on the ground against Wofford to help Georgia Southern lock up the SoCon Title and followed that up with a 255 yard performance in the FCS Playoff opener against Old Dominion.
The Eagle defense returns seven starters including All-American defensive tackle Brent Russell, who was fourth on the team with 67 tackles. Russell was third in the league with 16.5 tackles for loss and posted 6.5 sacks on the year.