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Hefferman: My preseason MVFC ballot

Hefferman: My preseason MVFC ballot

Illinois State Redbirds at Southern Illinois Salukis

SIU running back Javon Williams Jr. (15) looks to get past Illinois State linebacker Tuvone Clark (6) during a game last season at Saluki Stadium. Williams rushed for 48 yards on 10 carries, but the Salukis fell 21-7.

As SIU's beat writer for The Southern Illinoisan, I am allowed to vote for the Missouri Valley Football Conference preseason all-conference team.

Everybody knows who will be the preseason favorite, but here is my complete ballot for the preseason all-conference team.

Preseason Poll

1. North Dakota State: How many have they won in a row? QB Trey Lance, alone, gives the Bison a leg up on everybody else.

2. Northern Iowa: Panthers are loaded on both sides of the ball. Elerson Smith may be the best defensive lineman in the league.

3. South Dakota State: J'Bore Gibbs is back, with Pierre Strong to hand off to and Cade Johnson to throw to.

4. SIU: Salukis are out to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

5. Illinois State: Offensive lineman Drew Himmelman may be the best one in the league.

6. North Dakota: League newcomers have some holes to fill, but should be solid on defense.

7. South Dakota: Coyotes must overcome the loss of QB Austin Simmons, the league's total offense leader last season in average yards per game.

8. Indiana State: Sycamores hope to build on two wins to end their 2019 season.

9. Missouri State: Dave Steckel is out, and Bobby Petrino is in for Bears.

10. Youngstown State: Penguins re-tool behind new coach Doug Phillips, a former assistant coach at Cincinnati who was a graduate assistant under Jim Tressel.

11. Western Illinois: Leatherneck's best players may be fullback Clint Ratkovich and defensive back Marquis Smith.

Preseason Team

First Team Second Team

QB Trey Lance NDSU Will McElvain UNI

RB Pierre Strong SDSU Kai Henry USD

RB Javon Williams Jr. SIU Adam Cofield NDSU

FB Clint Ratkovich WIU Jacob Garrett SIU

WR Cade Johnson SDSU Andrew Edgar ILS

WR Isaiah Weston UNI Avante Cox SIU

WR Dante Hendrix INDST Christian Watson NDSU

TE Brett Samson USD Miles Joiner YSU

OL Drew Himmelman ILS Nick Ellis UNI

OL Dillon Radunz NDSU Austin Hopp WIU

OL Cordell Volson NDSU Kyle Sanft WIU

OL ZeVeyon Furcron SIU Isaiah Edwards INDST

OL Spencer Brown UNI Wes Genant SDSU

LS Paul Monaco ILS Bradey Sorenson SDSU

PK Matthew Cook UNI Mason Lorber USD

DL Elerson Smith UNI Reece Winkelman SDSU

DL Romeo McKnight ILS Spencer Waege NDSU

DL Jared Brinkman UNI Inoke Moala INDST

DL Anthony Knighton SIU John Ridgeway ILS

LB Logan Backhaus SDSU Chris Kolarevic UNI

LB Jack Cochrane USD Jake Mathew USD

LB Cody Crider SIU Noah Larson UND

LB Makel Calhoun SIU Seven Wilson SDSU

DB Devin Taylor ILS Josh Hayes NDSU

DB Omar Brown UNI Michael Tutsie NDSU

DB Don Gardner SDSU Xavior Williams UNI

DB Qua Brown SIU Titus Wall MSU

DB Jordan Canady UND Marquis Smith WIU

P Brady Schutt USD JT Bohlken ILS

RS Dakota Caton INDST Jaxon Janke SDSU


On Twitter: @THefferman


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