Minnesota Crookston is looking to continue to improve as they are coming off a 1-10 record on the 2019 season.

BURNSVILLE, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston football team was selected to finish 16th in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Football Preseason Poll. The Golden Eagles were represented by Jalin Scott (Sr., QB, Houston, Texas/LA Harbor College) and Joe Warner (Sr., DL, St. Louis Park, Minn./Rochester C.T.C.), as their NSIC Players to Watch.

    Minnesota Crookston is looking to continue to improve as they are coming off a 1-10 record on the 2019 season. The Golden Eagles snapped a losing streak that had dated back to 2015. Minnesota Crookston returns a lot of key pieces for the 2019 season as they return nine starters from 2018 on offense, and eight on defense. On offense, the Golden Eagles are led by Scott, who passed for over 1,100 yards and rushed for nearly 200. In addition, the Golden Eagles return five players who saw starting time on the offensive line along with two of their top pass catchers from 2018. Andy Groebner (So., WR, Andover, Minn.) leads the way after a phenomenal freshman season in which he amassed 601 yards receiving on 33 catches with three touchdowns. As a junior, Jonattan Mudd (Sr., WR, Gardena, Calif.) caught 23 passes for 279 yards. Defensively, Warner paces Minnesota Crookston at defensive tackle. He tallied 47 tackles in 2018 with 6.5 tackles for loss and one sack. In addition to Warner, Trevor Long, Jr. (R-Sr., DB, Brooklyn Park, Minn.) will patrol at safety after notching 79 tackles with seven pass break-ups. Will Cross (Sr., LB, Turtle Lake, Wis.) is also back in the fold at linebacker after missing the 2018 season due to injury. The Golden Eagles, who are in their third season under Head Coach Mark Dufner, open their 2019 season Sept. 5 against Minnesota State University Moorhead as they take on the Dragons in the first “NSIC Thursday Night Football Game of the Week” on Midco Sports Network.

    Minnesota State University was picked to finish first in the NSIC Preseason Poll with 14 first-place votes. The University of Minnesota Duluth was slotted just behind them at second with two first-place votes, while University of Sioux Falls was selected to finish third. Minnesota State was chosen to finish first in the NSIC South, while Minnesota Duluth was picked first in the NSIC North.

    Gabe Ames, a linebacker from Bemidji State University was selected as the NSIC North Division Defensive Preseason Player of the Year. John Larson, the quarterback for University of Minnesota Duluth was picked as the NSIC North Division Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Nick Pridgeon, a linebacker for Winona State University was selected as the NSIC South Division Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, while Gabriel Watson, a running back for University of Sioux Falls, was picked as the NSIC South Division Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.