BROOKINGS, S.D. ( — Three South Dakota State standouts were named Thursday to the Football Championship Subdivision Preseason All-America Team selected by HERO Sports.

Earning first-team accolades on offense were running back Pierre Strong, Jr. and wide receiver Cade Johnson.

Strong was limited to 11 games in 2019, but managed to hit the 1,000-yard mark for the second consecutive year with 1,018 yards. The junior-to-be from Little Rock, Arkansas, averaged 7.1 yards per carry and scored a team-best nine touchdowns – eight rushing and one receiving.

Johnson enters his senior season fifth in career receiving yards (2,872) and sixth in career receptions (162) at SDSU. In 2019, the Papillion, Nebraska, native recorded 72 receptions for 1,222 yards (17.0 ypr) and eight touchdowns. He tallied 100-plus receiving yards in four games last season and averaged 120.5 all-purpose yards per game.

Receiving second team recognition for the Jackrabbits was senior Bradey Sorenson. A Yankton native, Sorenson has been a two-time All-America honoree while handling the snapping duties for all the Jackrabbits’ special teams units each of the past three seasons.

Strong and Sorenson were both second-team selections to the season-ending HERO Sports All-America Team in 2019, while Johnson was a third-team honoree.

SDSU, which is ranked second in the 2020 HERO Sports FCS Preseason Poll, is scheduled to kick off the season by hosting Butler on Sept. 5. The Jackrabbits ended the 2019 season with an 8-5 overall record and made their eighth consecutive appearance in the FCS playoffs.


(Brent Nathaniel, Watertown Radio Sports)