Rebuilding UND receives no preseason honors
PARK CITY, Utah — It wasn’t much of a surprise that a rebuilding UND team was left without any honors on the Big Sky preseason all-conference football team, which was announced by the league Monday.
It also wasn’t too shocking who stole the big awards during the Big Sky football kickoff event, which wraps up today.
A pair of familiar names — Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams and Montana defensive end Zack Wagenmann — were tabbed as the offensive and defensive preseason MVPs.
Adams turned in a record-breaking 2013 season in which he threw for 4,994 yards with a league single-season record 55 touchdown passes. The Pasadena, Calif., native was the Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year in 2013 and was the runner-up in Walter Payton Award voting.
Wagenmann, a senior from Missoula, Mont., has garnered First Team All-Conference honors each of the past two seasons. He’s totaled 20 sacks in the past two seasons.
Adams’ passing mate — EWU wide receiver Cooper Kupp — also made the all-conference preseason team. The All-American won the Jerry Rice Award last season as the nation’s top freshman. He set a Big Sky single-season record with 21 touchdown catches. He also led the nation with 1,691 receiving yards.
UND and Idaho State were the only two schools without a selection to the preseason all-conference teams.
The league’s preseason polls will be released today.
Big Sky preseason
QB — Vernon Adams, Eastern Washington; RB — Kristaan Ivory, Cal Poly, Gabe Manzanares, UC Davis; FB — Nick Butler, Northern Arizona; TE — R.J. Rickert, Northern Arizona; OG — Trevor Poole, Montana, Cornelius Edison, Portland State, JP Flynn, Montana State; C — Roy Garcia, Eastern Washington; OT — Clay DeBord, Eastern Washington, Jacob Julian, Northern Arizona; WR — Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington, DeAndre Carter, Sacramento State, Ellis Henderson, Montana; PK — Brady Stuart, UC Davis; returner — Shawn Johnson, Montana State
DE — Zack Wagenmann, Montana, James Cowser, Southern Utah; DT — Tonga Takai, Montana, Dylan Zylstra, Eastern Washington; LB — Ronnie Hamlin, Eastern Washington, Austin Hasquet, Northern Arizona, Nick Dzubnar, Cal Poly, Leilon Willingham, Northern Colorado; CB — Deonte Flowers, Montana State, Deon’tae Florence, Weber State; S — Matt Hermanson, Montana; S — Tevin McDonald, Eastern Washington; P — Kyle Loomis, Portland State; ST — Chad Newell, Montana Statea