Jacks, Strong recognized by HERO Sports

Photo: Brent Nathaniel

BROOKINGS, S.D. (GoJacks.com) — South Dakota State is ranked second and running back Pierre Strong, Jr., received Football Championship Subdivision All-America consideration in preseason honors announced Monday by HERO Sports.

The Jackrabbits, who finished the 2019 season with an 8-5 overall record in making their eighth consecutive FCS playoff appearance, followed Missouri Valley Football Conference rival and defending national champion North Dakota State in the preseason poll. Weber State, James Madison and Villanova rounded out the top five.

Three other MVFC teams were ranked in the top 16: Northern Iowa at No. 6, Illinois State at No. 9 and Southern Illinois in the 16th spot.

Strong, a junior from Little Rock, Arkansas, received first-team accolades after topping the 1,000-yard mark in each of his first two seasons. He rushed for 1,116 yards as a freshman in 2018 and gained 1,018 yards with eight touchdowns in 11 games as a sophomore.

The Jackrabbits’ eight-game MVFC schedule kicks off Feb. 19, with SDSU traveling to UNI. A 16-team playoff is set to begin April 24.

HERO SPORTS FCS SPRING PRESEASON TOP 25
1. North Dakota State
2. South Dakota State
3. Weber State
4. James Madison
5. Villanova
6. Northern Iowa
7. Kennesaw State
8. Furman
9. Illinois State
10. North Carolina A&T
11. Austin Peay
12. Albany
13. Delaware
14. Eastern Washington
15. Nicholls
16. Southern Illinois
17. New Hampshire
18. Jacksonville State
19. The Citadel
20. Sam Houston
21. Elon
22. Monmouth
23. Wofford
24. Chattanooga
25. Southeastern Louisiana