Ferris State Ranked As Nation's Preseason #2 Team By Two Different Publications


Big Rapids, Mich. - Reigning NCAA Division II National Finalist Ferris State University will begin the 2019 season right where the Bulldogs left off as FSU has been tabbed as the nation's preseason #2 squad in two different collegiate gridiron polls unveiled this week.

The Bulldogs have been picked as the country's #2 preseason team by both Lindy's Sports and Street & Smith's in each publication's annual college football national preview magazine. Both went on sale on newsstands across the nation this past week.

In both polls, Ferris State was listed second behind only defending national champion Valdosta State, which narrowly edged FSU 49-47 in a thrilling Division II National Championship game this past December.

This year marks the fourth time in the past five years the Bulldogs have been tabbed as one of the country's top three teams in at least one preseason national ranking.

Lindy's Sports, which is billed as the nation's leading football authority, highlighted the top 25 teams in the country based on expert opinions and also featured a preseason All-America team. The top five teams nationally in the magazine's preseason listing included Valdosta State (#1), FSU (#2), Notre Dame (Ohio) (#3), Minnesota State (#4) and Northwest Missouri State (#5).

Lindy's Sports also tabbed three Bulldogs as Preseason All-Americans, including senior defensive end Austin Edwards (Lansing/Waverly) on the first team along with senior quarterback Jayru Campbell (Detroit/Cass Tech) and senior defensive back Delon Stephenson (Sayreville, N.J.). Campbell, the reigning Harlon Hill Trophy winner as the nation's top Division II player, was chosen as the publication's Preseason National Offensive Player of the Year. FSU had three of the four players from the GLIAC on the magazine's Preseason All-America list.

Meanwhile, in the Street & Smith's poll, the publication tabbed Valdosta State (#1), FSU (#2), Minnesota State (#3), Notre Dame (#4) and Lenoir-Rhyne (#5) in the top five. Campbell was tabbed as the first team All-America quarterback by Street & Smith's, one of two players from the GLIAC on the listing in addition to Saginaw Valley State's Heath Williams. The magazine noted that "if Valdosta State is No. 1, maybe Ferris State should be tagged as 1-B."

The Bulldogs will begin their 111th season of varsity competition this coming fall with their sights set on making a sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Playoffs. FSU returns 18 starters from last fall's historic campaign.

Along with reaching the national title game, the Bulldogs captured the GLIAC Championship in 2018 and won the Super Region Three title by winning their first four NCAA Playoff games en route to a historic run. The four playoff wins included FSU's first-ever National Semifinal victory at Minnesota State. Recently, SB Nation labeled FSU as Michigan's best football team of 2018 regardless of division.

Ferris State will open the 2019 season at home under the lights on Thursday, Sept. 5, against the Findlay Oilers in non-league action at Top Taggart Field. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (ET).

Lindy's Sports Preseason Top 10
1. Valdosta State
2. Ferris State
3. Notre Dame (Ohio)
4. Minnesota State
5. Northwest Missouri State
6. Ouachita Baptist
7. Slippery Rock
8. Lenoir-Rhyne
9. Grand Valley State
10. Tarleton State

Street & Smith's Preseason Top 10
1. Valdosta State
2. Ferris State
3. Minnesota State
4. Notre Dame (Ohio)
5. Lenoir-Rhyne
6. Northwest Missouri State
7. Slippery Rock
8. Ouachita Baptist
9. Texas A&M-Commerce
10. Grand Valley State