When you talk Jackrabbit football, two names come to mind. Senior quarterback Austin Sumner could set the Missouri Valley Conference all-time record for passing yards this coming season, while senior running back Zach Zenner will likely set the Valley record for career rushing yards.
"ZZ is a great teammate, it's fun to watch him go, I have the best seat in the house." says Sumner.
"I'm glad Sumner is back. We've really got a great senior group who's been through this." says Zenner.
Sumner will have one of his favorite targets back in wide reciever Jason Schneider. The three veterans will operate behind some new faces on the offensive line.
"We should have a good offensive year, but a lot depends on the fat guys. We lost everyone, we've got good players there, but no experience." says head coach John Stiegelmeier.
On defense, the Jacks have nine starters back. Lineman Cole Langer was an on the all-Missouri Valley Conference newcomer team. The "D" will look to improve after giving up 400 yards of offense a game last year.
"A lot of guys got to play a lot last year, and the others were behind great seniors, the young guys are really stepping up." says linebacker T.J. Lally.
"We don't have any stars on defense, but you don't need stars. You need eleven guys who play hard, and our coaches will teach that. We'll be good on defense." says Stiegelmeier.
The Jacks are getting some high preseason praise. They're picked to finish second in the Valley, and are ranked in the top 10 of most FCS preseason polls.
"What I've seen is a belief after two playoff appearances that we can be good. That there's some confidence because of the tradition there, and that's what's different about this year." says Stiegelmeier.