ATLANTA, Ga. (WHNT) — You might be thinking SEC Media Days are done, but that’s not the only conference who had teams take the stage in Atlanta this week.

The ASUN hosted their inaugural football media day, and it’s inaugural because it’s the first-ever season of ASUN football with six schools for the 2022 season – Austin Peay, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Kennesaw State, Central Arkansas, and North Alabama’s very own UNA Lions.

This season is special for UNA for more reasons than it being ASUN’s first football season, but the 2022 season will be UNA’s first as a full-fledged member of Division I, after finally completing their four-year transition period.

“You’d have to live inside that building with the players, coaches, administrators that have been through this whole journey to understand it,” said Chris Willis, the Lions’ head coach. “Every 18, 19, and 20-year-old they want to play for something they want to go out and win ball games that mean something have meaning behind them and now we finally do and it’s been a long time coming.”

The Lions will be eligible for an NCAA post-season bid for the first time since 2016, so now when they take the field, it won’t just be for the love of the game. The wins and losses they matter, so naturally, the vibes with the team are different this summer than in years past, but the Lions are fired up and ready to go.

“I don’t think words can describe how excited we are,” said Corson Swan, a tight end for the Lions.

“I remember last week we were on the field and we were doing some new type of conditioning that we haven’t done this summer and just the energy and excitement everyone brought,” Swan explained. “It was like ‘wow’ this is a different team, this is a different culture and like, it’s got me fired up.”

News 19 sat down for a one-on-one with UNA Athletic Director Josh Looney. Check out the full interview here:

The countdown is now on for September 1 when the Lions kick off their season at Indiana State.