Tuskegee is still nursing a couple of significant streaks, even though that 26-game winning binge ended with a loss to Alabama State in last year’s finale.
The Golden Tigers have won 16 SIAC games in a row and three straight league titles.
But that wasn’t enough for the league coaches to vote them to win the title again, which would be their 25th overall. In preseason voting, Albany State was picked to win the SIAC and Tuskegee was voted No. 2.
Perhaps, the other coaches don’t think the Golden Tigers can fill the void left from the departure of quarterback Jacary Atkinson, the SIAC offensive player of the year who went 22-1 as a starter.
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His replacement will either be last year’s backup Joshua Harris or redshirt freshman Jeremy Williams.
The Tigers also lost top receiver Jason English, who signed a free agent deal with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.
Running back Tony Forney and receiver Antoine Mitchell are among 13 starters returning. Mitchell and Jonathan Lessa combined for 1,293 yards receiving. Forney rushed for 544 yards and four touchdowns.
Offensive lineman Michael Stevens returns. Stevens was a Sheridan Broadcasting Network All-American last season.
Defensively, linebacker Jonathan Hall, cornerback Justin Hannah and defensive lineman Danny Anderson all earned All-SIAC honors. Hannah has 13 career interceptions.
Coach Willie Slater has been nothing short of outstanding since arriving at Tuskegee. He has a 32-3 record heading into his fourth season.
Tuskegee opened the season Aug. 22 against Benedict. Tuskegee plays Morehouse on Oct. 10 in the 74th annual Tuskegee-Morehouse Football Classic at A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium. The Golden Tigers play three home games, three road games and five Classics at neutral sites.