South Dakota State landed an FCS-best eight players on the HERO Sports Football Championship Subdivision Preseason All-America Team, which was announced Thursday. The Jackrabbits’ six first-team selections also ranked as the most on the honor squad.
Five of SDSU’s first-team selections came on the offensive side of the ball and included senior offensive linemen Garret Greenfield and Mason McCormick. Both have been multi-year starters for the Jackrabbits — Greenfield at tackle and McCormick at guard — who helped pave the way for a balanced SDSU offensive attack to average 36.1 points and 441.1 yards of total offense per game during the 2021 season.
The Jackrabbits’ top two receivers from a year ago — wide receiver Jaxon Janke and tight end Tucker Kraft — also received first-team honors. Janke, a senior from Madison posted team highs of 72 receptions and 1,165 receiving yards in 2021, while adding five touchdowns.
A junior from Timber Lake, Kraft was a consensus All-America selection last season after catching 65 passes for 780 yards and six touchdowns.
Also named to the first team from the SDSU was running back Isaiah Davis. A junior from Joplin, Missouri, Davis missed most of the 2021 regular season due to injury, but managed to finish second on the team with 701 rushing yards and seven touchdown after three consecutive 100-yard games during the postseason. He has averaged nearly eight yards per carry through his first two seasons in a Jackrabbit uniform.
Linebacker Adam Bock was the lone Jackrabbit defender to earn first-team recognition. A junior from Solon, Iowa, Bock registered a team-high 125 tackles last season, including 9.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He recorded 10 or more tackles in a game six times.
Earning preseason accolades on the third team were defensive tackle Caleb Sanders and senior tight end Zach Heins.
A senior from Glenwood, Iowa, Sanders led the team in sacks for the second year in a row with 6.5 and tallied 13 tackles for loss among his 34 total stops.
The other half of the top returning tight end tandem in the FCS ranks, Heins hauled in 24 receptions for 250 yards in 2021. The Sioux Falls native also tallied six touchdowns.
Ranked second in a number of preseason polls, SDSU opens the season Sept. 3 at Iowa. The Jackrabbits are coming off a 2021 campaign in which they posted an 11-4 record to match the school record for wins in a season. SDSU reached the FCS playoffs for the 10th consecutive season and advanced to the semifinal round for the fourth time in five years.