Football camps are opening over the next week around the state of Pennsylvania. Friday marked the official start for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference as they released their preseason poll.

The three local colleges are slotted in the middle spots of the PSAC Western Division.

Edinboro was the highest ranked team in the area. The Fighting Scots are slotted as the number four team in the PSAC West. This is the second straight year they will start out as the fourth-ranked team. Boro returns their leading rusher in Walter Fletcher who ran for a school-record 1,740 yards a year ago along with 18 touchdowns. The Fighting Scots will have to replace quarterback Jake Sissons who graduated. The Jamestown native leaves with the third most passing yards in school history. Edinboro will be anchored on defense by Preseason All-American pick Zuril Henrick.

Gannon slots in right behind Edinboro in the number five spot in the West Division. The Golden Knights will be lead in 2018 by the Harlon Hill runner-up in Marc Jones. The Painesville, Ohio native is the reigning PSAC Player of the Year. He is just 704 yards short of breaking Sterling Pierce's school rushing record. Senior linebacker Anthony Howard will be the stalwart of the Golden Knights defense as he begins his third year at linebacker. He has made 22 consecutive starts for Gannon.

Mercyhurst rounds out the final spot of the local teams. The Lakers slide in at the number six spot in the PSAC West. The Lakers return leading tackler Jake Tarasovich on defense. The junior from McDowell led Mercyhurst with 88 tackles a year ago. The offense will once again be led by quarterback Doug Altavilla, who begins his third season as the Lakers starter. Altavilla will be aided by North East product Garrett Owens who looks to build upon an impressive redshirt freshman season. He rushed for 762 yards for the Lakers.

The opening week of the college football season begins Thursday, August 30th when Gannon hosts Southern Connecticut St.