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Rebuilding UND receives no preseason honors

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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.

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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

all-conference team

Offense

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

Defense

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

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