Three South Dakota State football players, including Freshman of the Year Pierre Strong, Jr., received recognition Tuesday on the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Newcomer Team.
A redshirt freshman from Little Rock, Arkansas, Strong closed the second half of the conference schedule with three consecutive 100-yard games to take over the team lead in rushing with 777 yards. He is averaging 11.6 yards per carry and all eight of his rushing touchdowns have covered at least 24 yards.
Strong was honored as MVFC Newcomer of the Week after each of the last two games of the regular season, rushing for 188 yards and three touchdowns at Southern Illinois on Nov. 10, followed by a career-best 253 yards on only 17 carries with three more scores in the Nov. 17 matchup with South Dakota.
Joining Strong on the 26-member squad from the defensive side of the ball were nose tackle Krockett Krolikowski and safety Brandon Snyder. Krolikowski, a redshirt freshman from Winner, started nine of the team’s 10 games during the regular season and ranks second on the team with 3.5 sacks. He has registered 25 total tackles, including six tackles for loss.
Snyder, who joined the team just before the start of fall camp as a graduate transfer from Iowa, ranks fifth on the team with 41 total tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack. The Larchwood, Iowa, native also has intercepted two passes and broken up another.
Selections to the MVFC All-Newcomer Team were based on a vote conducted among the league’s head coaches, sports information directors and select media.
South Dakota State, coached by John Stiegelmeier, finished the regular season with an 8-2 overall record, including a second-place mark of 6-2 in MVFC play. The Jackrabbits are making their seventh consecutive appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs and will host Duquesne in second-round action Dec. 1.