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FOOTBALL: Coming off NSIC championship, Beavers picked 2nd in preseason poll

BSU’s No. 2 spot in the overall poll is the program’s highest placement since being chosen to win the NSIC crown in the 2007 preseason poll.

092921.S.BP.BSUFOOT Jaylen Jenkins.jpg
Bemidji State's Jaylen Jenkins (7) runs out with the flag ahead of the homecoming game against Augustana on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer
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BURNSVILLE -- Expectations are high for the Bemidji State football team this year.

League members affirmed that sentiment on Wednesday, as the Beavers were picked to finish second in the NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, BSU’s highest ranking in 15 years.

Bemidji State, co-conference champions and first-time participants in the NCAA Tournament in 2021, garnered four first-place votes and were slotted behind only Augustana in the overall poll. In the North Division poll, the Beavers were the unanimous No. 1 pick, ahead of longtime division frontrunner Minnesota Duluth.

BSU’s No. 2 spot in the overall poll is the program’s highest placement since being chosen to win the NSIC crown in the 2007 preseason poll. The team went 7-4 that year and finished fourth overall.

Augustana reeled in 153 points and five first-place votes to top this year’s poll, while Bemidji State was close behind with 145 points. Minnesota Duluth (142), Minnesota State (136) and Sioux Falls (136) filled in the top five.

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In the North Division poll, the Beavers finished with 36 points. Minnesota Duluth was a consensus second-place pick with 31 points, while Northern State’s 24 points put the Wolves third.

BSU also had quarterback Brandon Alt and defensive end/outside linebacker Zollie Kaplan named as its Offensive and Defensive Players to Watch.

U-Mary wide receiver Danny Kittner was picked as the NSIC North’s preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while UMD linebacker Brad Dati was the NSIC North preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

Bemidji State will open the new season at 6 p.m. on Sept. 1 against Minnesota State at Chet Anderson Stadium.

2022 NSIC Football Preseason Coaches’ Poll

1-Augustana 153; 2-Bemidji State 145; 3-Minnesota Duluth 142; T4-Minnesota State 136; T4-Sioux Falls 136; 6-Winona State 109; 7-Northern State 94; 8-Wayne State 88; 9-MSU Moorhead 72; 10-U-Mary 71; 11-Concordia-St. Paul 41; 12-Minot State 36; 13-Southwest MN State 26; 14-Upper Iowa 25.

2022 NSIC Football North Division Preseason Coaches’ Poll

1-Bemidji State 36; 2-Minnesota Duluth 31; 3-Northern State 24; T4-U-Mary 19; T4-MSU Moorhead 19; 6-Concordia-St. Paul 10; 7-Minot State 8.

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