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CFB: Vikings Picked Fifth Overall, Third In South Division

August 7, 2012, 11:11 AM

CFB: Vikings Picked Fifth Overall, Third In South Division

Augustana was selected fifth overall and third in the South Division, and senior linebacker Austin Luecke was named the South Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll released Tuesday morning by the conference office.

Minnesota Duluth was picked as the preseason favorite in both the overall poll and the North Division. The Bulldogs received nine first-place votes in the overall poll and five in the division poll.

St. Cloud State, selected second overall and second in the North Division, boasts the North Division Preseason Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year in quarterback Phillip Klaphake and defensive back Marvin Matthews. Winona State's Rayon Simmons was tabbed with South Division Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Luecke, a native of Groton, S.D., frontlines the Augustana defense in 2012 returning as the team's leading tackler in 2011. Luecke, an All-NSIC South Division first team and Daktronics All-Super Region three second team selection in 2011, finished the season with 107 tackles, including a team-high 47 solo stops. Luecke had 10 or more tackles in a game six times last season and registered 10.0 tackles for loss. In NSIC contests, Luecke finished fourth in the league with 97 tackles, including 44 solo tackles.

Augustana quarterback Josh Hanson was cited as a preseason player to watch in the NSIC.

The Vikings posted a 6-5 record in 2011 and were 6-4 in the NSIC, 4-2 in the South Division. Last season marked the fourth-consecutive winning season for Augustana.

Augustana returns eight All-NSIC performers from the 2011 squad. On offense, Hanson returns at quarterback with Dajon Newell (927 yards, seven touchdowns), Grant Gebhardt (31 catches, 403 yards), Ben Parsley (30 catches, 377 yards) and Isaac Jorgensen (14 catches, 177 yards). On the defensive side of the ball, Luecke joins Ross Peterson (84 tackles, 28 solo tackles). Drew Behrens, Augustana's all-time leader in field goals returns for his senior season in 2012.

Mike Aldrich will lead his team into fall camp on Aug. 11. The Vikings open the 2012 season at home on Sept. 1 against Northern State beginning at 1 p.m.

RankTeam (first place vote) Points
1 Minnesota Duluth (9) 217
2 St. Cloud State (6) 211
3 Minnesota State (1) 197
4 Winona State 175
5 Augustana 169
6 Bemidji State 145
7 Wayne State 139
8 Sioux Falls 116
9 University of Mary 112
10 Concordia-St. Paul 103
11 Northern State 94
12 Southwest Minnesota State 75
13 Upper Iowa 62
14 Minot State 46
15 MSU Moorhead 42
16 Minnesota, Crookston 17

South Division
1 Mi nnesota State (5) 46
2 Winona State (2) 44
3 Augustana 34
4 Wayne State 32
5 Sioux Falls (1) 23
6 Concordia-St. Paul 19
7 Upper Iowa 14
8 SMSU 12

North Division
1 Minnesota Duluth (5) 47
2 St. Cloud State (3) 45
3 Bemidji State 34
4 U-Mary 31
5 Northern State 28
6 Minot State 16
7 MSU Moorhead 15
8 Minnesota, Crookston 8

Courtesy: Tim Evans, Augustana College Sports Information Director

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