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Muhammad Abdulqaadir 1

Muhammad Abdulqaadir (2002-03) played running back for two spectacular seasons at SIU, finishing fifth in school history in career rushing yards (2,372) and third in career rushing TDs (31). 

CARBONDALE — As part of its 35th anniversary celebration this season, the Missouri Valley Football Conference is asking you to help select the best players in league history.

Ten years after the league's Silver Anniversary Team, Valley Football is asking fans to vote online at valley-football.org for the best players at each position. All seven SIU players that made the Silver Anniversary Team in 2009 are on the ballot, along with some new faces like defensive back Korey Lindsey and tight end MyCole Pruitt. Lindsey was a three-time first team all-conference pick and is fourth in school history in interceptions, with 14. Pruitt, who is now with the Tennessee Titans, is the Salukis' all-time receptions leader (221 catches between 2011-14), second in receiving yardage (2,601 yards) and second in career touchdown catches (25).

Wide receiver Cornell Craig, who is seventh in career receiving yards in Valley Football history and third in touchdown catches, is SIU's all-time leader in those two categories. Craig caught 207 passes, second only to Pruitt in Saluki history, for 3,508 yards and 37 touchdowns. He is the only receiver in school history with a 1,000 yard season, doing it twice, in 1997 (1,036) and 1999 (1,419). Craig was one of six receivers on the Silver Anniversary Team. 

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Quarterback Joel Sambursky, who led the program back to respectability in the early 2000s under coach Jerry Kill, and fellow Saluki Hall of Famer Arkee Whitlock also made the ballot. Return specialist Craig Turner and place-kicker Craig Coffin, who was once the league's all-time scoring leader, are also on the ballot. Punter Scott Ravanesi, part of SIU's last playoff team in 2009, is, too. 

Surprisingly, only three former Salukis are up for the best position players on defense. Lindsey, former defensive back Alexis Moreland and former linebacker Brandin Jordan are the only SIU players on any of the defensive positions. Moreland, a three-time first team all-conference selection, was one of 10 defensive backs on the Silver Anniversary Team. 

Results of the voting for the best players at each positions are expected to be announced beginning Sept. 30.

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todd.hefferman@thesouthern.com

618-351-5087

On Twitter: @THefferman

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