NWCC Rangers ranked fifth

The Northwest Mississippi Community College football team takes the field before a game last season. The Rangers will enter the 2018 campaign ranked as high as fifth in the nation, according to a new list released by the national publication Street & Smith’s magazine.

After three straight Top 10 finishes and three consecutive bowl berths, Northwest Mississippi Community College has received a number five pre-season ranking in Street & Smith's 2018 College Football Preview magazine.

Compiled by junior college sportswriter Tony Jimenez for the nationally distributed college football magazine that is currently available on newsstands nationwide, Street & Smith's Top 25 pre-season rankings considered all 134 of the nation's two-year schools that feature football programs, including the 69 competing members of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA).

Defending NJCAA national champion East Mississippi is number one. Rounding out the top five are Garden City (Kan.), Iowa Western, Arizona Western and Northwest Mississippi. 

Northwest is coming off an 8-3 season, division championship, MACJC runner-up finish and fourth bowl appearance in six years. The Rangers return just five combined starters, four of those on defense.

In addition to previewing the nation's predicted Top 10 junior college football teams for the upcoming season, Street & Smith's two-page magazine spread also includes listings of the country's "Super Sophomores." Ole Miss commit JaVonta Payton, who caught 44 passes for 509 yards and nine touchdowns, was named.     

Northwest will kickoff the 2018 campaign on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 6:30 p.m. against East Central.

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