MyCole Pruitt has earned first-team All-MVFC honors in each of the past two years.
July 29, 2014
ST. LOUIS - Southern Illinois was picked fifth in the preseason MVFC poll, the conference announced Tuesday. In addition, seniors MyCole Pruitt (tight end) and Thomas Kinney (placekicker) were named to the preseason All-Conference team.
The poll consists of votes from the coaches, local media and sports information directors of the 10-team conference. Three-time defending national champion North Dakota State was the preseason pick to win the league, followed by South Dakota State, Northern Iowa and Youngstown State. Just three points separated Youngstown State from fifth-place SIU.
Pruitt earned first-team All-MVFC in each of the past two seasons and was a consensus first-team All-American in 2013. He earned the 2013 CFPA Tight End of the Year in the FCS after finishing in the top three among tight ends in receptions and receiving yards. He is SIU's career leader in receptions (140) and receiving yards (1,740) by a tight end.
Kinney was a second-team All-MVFC honoree in 2013 and earned a spot on the All-Newcomer team after making 18 field goals during the year. His 52-yard field goal against Western Illinois was the second-longest made field goal in the FCS in 2013, and he went 3-for-5 on field goals 47 yards or longer on the season.
Both Kinney and Pruitt were named preseason first-team All-Americans by The Sports Network earlier in June. Pruitt was one of 20 players named to the Payton Award Watch List. The Payton Award is presented annually to the most outstanding player in FCS.
As a team, SIU was picked to finish in the top-five in the conference for the eighth time in the last 10 years. SIU has finished tied for third or better in the MVFC in five of head coach Dale Lennon's six seasons at the helm of the program, including tying for second in the conference last year.
2014 Missouri Valley Football Conference Preseason Poll
|School (First Place Votes)||Points|
|1.||North Dakota State (24)||370|
|2.||South Dakota State (8)||330|
|3.||Northern Iowa (7)||324|