Eight South Dakota football players were named to the preseason all-Missouri Valley Football Conference team as voted on by the league’s head coaches, sports information directors and select media members and announced Tuesday.
Cornerback Myles Harden, linebackers Stephen Hillis and Brock Mogensen, and wide receiver/return specialist Carter Bell were named to the first team. That tied for the second-most first-team selections in the 12-team league. Running back Travis Theis and offensive guard Isaac Erbes earned second-team recognition. Edge rusher Brendan Webb and safety Dennis Shorter received honorable mention.
Harden, Hillis and Mogensen are preseason all-Americans and returning all-MVFC honorees from last season. Theis and Bell have earned honorable mention all-MVFC honors in each of the last two campaigns.
Harden, a junior from Miami Gardens, Florida, forced six turnovers in six games last season. Only three players nationally forced more during the entire regular season. Hillis, a senior from Hartington, Nebraska, and Mogensen, a senior from Farmington, Minnesota, were the two-leading tacklers in the conference in 2023 with 115 and 106, respectively.
Bell is a junior from Bettendorf, Iowa. He received recognition as an all-purpose back, receiver and return man on the preseason team. He has 88 career catches for 1,256 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has also ran a punt for a touchdown and averages better than 10 yards on 29 punt returns.
Theis, a junior from Pratt, Kansas, led the Coyotes with 166 carries for 775 yards and five touchdowns a season ago. He has been a staple in South Dakota’s backfield the last three seasons. Theis has totaled 1,654 yards rushing and another 410 receiving with 15 touchdowns in 30 collegiate games.
Webb has compiled seven sacks and 15 tackles-for-loss over the past two seasons. The senior from Buhler, Kansas, has competed mainly as a defensive end and is expected to move into the edge rusher position in coordinator Travis Johansen‘s defense this season.
Shorter burst into the starting lineup a season ago and finished as the Coyotes’ third-leading tackler with 67 stops in 10 games. The junior from Daytona Beach, Florida, led the team with six pass breakups. Shorter has competed in 18 games in two seasons with the Coyotes.
South Dakota’s first official fall practice is Tuesday. The Coyotes’ season opener is Aug. 31 at Missouri.
Courtney Rott from Aberdeen Oktoberfest joins us to talk about the upcoming event…