UNIVERSITY CENTER -- The Saginaw Valley State University Football team has been picked to finish in fifth place for the upcoming 2017 season in the league's annual preseason coaches' poll.
The Cardinals received 41 points, finishing 13 points behind Wayne State in the 4th spot. Ashland was in 3rd with 67 points. Ferris State finished 2nd with 75 points and four first-place votes. Grand Valley is the 2017 favorite after garnering 77 points and six first-place nods.
1. Grand Valley State - 77 (6)
2. Ferris State - 75 (4)
3. Ashland - 67
4. Wayne State - 54
5. Saginaw Valley - 41
6. Michigan Tech - 38
7. Tiffin - 37
8. Northwood - 32
9. Northern Michigan - 19
10. Davenport - 10
2017 Saginaw Valley State Preview
The 2017 SVSU Football Team looks to build upon a 2016 campaign in which the Cardinals posted a 5-5 overall record and mark in GLIAC play. Saginaw Valley returns a solid group of players that have gained plenty of experience on the field, as the Cardinals aim to improve further in what will be a new-look conference this fall.
The linebackers will help anchor a Cardinal defense that will be led by senior Bryan Jones. Jones led the GLIAC in 2016 with 11.1 tackles per game, totaling 111 for the season in his 10 games played to earn Second Team All-GLIAC honors. Junior Michael Alexander, senior Sloan Klaski and sophomore Justin Whitted join Jones at the position. Marvin White, Joe Newman, Dillon Dixon and Myles Collier all return in the defensive backfield and will give SVSU a tremendous amount of experience in the secondary. Also returning is junior cornerback Ryan Verhelst, who missed last season due to injury. The defensive line will be anchored by seniors Jack Jennings and Zack Hadorn at the defensive end spots. Starters Chris Travis and Kyle Campfield are back at the interior spots, with Jaylen Bradley, Heath Williams, Ryan Gruszka and Kyle Cameron providing additional depth.
On the offensive side, signal callers Ryan Conklin and Jacob LeClair will once again push for the starting spot. Both quarterbacks started five games last season, with Conklin getting the nod in the final four. Senior Alfonso Vultaggio returns to anchor the receiving corps, along with fellow senior Damaris Woods at wideout and senior Will Farr at the tight end position. The running backs will once again feature a deep group with plenty of youth, as Tommy Scott Jr, Jermaih Johnson, De'Juan James and Myrick El should all see plenty of action in the backfield. The offensive line returns starters Antwan Billings, Christian Porter, Trevor Curle and Alex Korhorn. Max Fister also returns after starting the final three games of 2016.
Kicker Alex Kenrick returns for his junior season after another steady year in 2016 kicking field goals. Tyler Marcus returns for his senior campaign as well and should serve as the team's punter once again and handle the kick-off duties.
SVSU opens the 2017 season on the road Saturday, September 2 at Alderson Broaddus University for a non-conference tilt. The Cards then host Walsh in another non-league game before opening GLIAC play September 16 at Wayne State.
2017 GLIAC Preview Interview