VERMILLION, S.D. (USD) — South Dakota punter Brady Schutt, long snapper Dalton Godfrey, wide receiver Caleb Vander Esch and linebacker Brock Mogensen were named to the preseason all-Missouri Valley Football Conference Team as voted on by the league’s head coaches, sports information directors and members of the media and announced Tuesday.
In addition, defensive lineman Jacob Matthew, linebacker Jack Cochrane, cornerback Myles Harden and offensive lineman Mason Scheidegger received honorable mention. The eight honorees are tied for the fifth-most among the 11 Valley programs.
The Valley announced a first team and a second team this year and all but 10 of the 62 selections are returners from the spring’s all-Valley team. Schutt and Godfrey were first-team preseason picks while Vander Esch and Mogensen were second team. A new category for all-purpose player was created for the 2021 fall campaign.
Schutt, Godfrey, Vander Esch, Mogensen and Cochrane have earned all-Valley awards in the past. Vander Esch and Schutt are both two-time all-Valley picks. Scheidegger has twice been named honorable mention. Matthew and Harden earned honorable mention honors this past spring.
Schutt is a sixth-year senior from Orange City, Iowa. He has turned in the fourth-best punting average in the nation in each of the last two seasons, and last spring, he led the nation’s top-ranked punting unit with a net of 43.7 yards per punt. His career average of 42.9 yards per punt is a program record.
Godfrey has served as long snapper on punts and kicks for each of the last three seasons. He is a fifth-year junior from Cedar Falls, Iowa. In addition to aiding the nation’s top-ranked punt team in the spring, he was part of a kick team that made 5-of-8 field goals and all eight extra points. He was also credited with a special teams tackle on five returns opportunities.
Vander Esch (San Jose, California) is a sixth-year senior from San Jose, California, who has led the Coyotes in both catches and receiving yards in each of the last two seasons. He made 23 catches for 273 yards and hauled in a touchdown during the four games this spring. He ranked fourth in the Valley in both catches and yards per game. He totaled nine catches for a season-high 102 yards in the final game of the season at Youngstown State.
Mogensen is a fourth-year sophomore from Farmington, Minnesota, who was the team’s leading tackler last spring with 38. Included in that count are a sack and two other tackles for loss. He ranked second in the conference in tackles per game. Mogensen also notched his first collegiate interception.
Matthew is a sixth-year senior from Omaha, Nebraska, who has led the Coyotes in both sacks and tackles-for-loss in each of the last two seasons. Only one player in the country recovered more fumbles than the two he scooped up in four games last spring. Matthew earned honorable mention honors after finishing fourth in the team in tackles with 28.
Cochrane, a team captain the last two seasons, is a fifth-year senior from Mount Vernon, Iowa, who earned all-Valley honors in 2019 when he led the Valley in tackles during the regular season. He remains the Coyotes’ active leader in tackles with 224. Cochrane has been named to the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team in each of the last two years.
Scheidegger, also a team captain the last two seasons, is a four-year starter along the offensive line for the Coyotes who hails from Fonda, Iowa. He started all 35 games from 2017-19 before missing two of four games this past spring due to injury. He has competed in all five positions along the line throughout his career, but has spent the majority of his time at either left or right guard.
Harden is a second-year freshman from Miami Gardens, Florida, who led the nation in passes defended per game last year after tallying two interceptions and seven pass breakups in his four games. He was named to the HERO Sports FCS Freshman All-American Team and also the MVFC All-Newcomer Team last spring.