Southern opens the season Sunday afternoon against the South Carolina State Bulldogs.
The game, part of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, will be played at A.W. Mumford Stadium, with kickoff set for 1:35 p.m. on ESPN2.
The Bulldogs went 5-6 last year, with a 5-3 record in conference play.
Key players returning from 2016: DEFENSE: Darius Leonard LB(All-MEAC, MEAC Defensive Player of the Year. All-American), Jason Baxter, DB (All-MEAC), Dayshawn Taylor, LB(All-MEAC), Ty Cravens DL, Shaquille Crouch, DL and Paul McKeiver, DL
OFFENSE: Justin Evans, OL (All-MEAC), Victor Ishmael, Jr. OL (All-MEAC), Robbie Stephenson, OL (All-MEAC), Mykal Moody, WR and Greg Newell, DE