Park City, UT – The teams run deep in the expanded Big Sky Conference and apparently the talent does, too.
All 13 Big Sky football teams placed at least one player on the conference's preseason squad, which was announced Sunday at its Summer Kickoff media festivities.
Two-time reigning Big Sky co-champion Montana State placed a conference-high six players on the preseason team, led by senior linebacker Jody Owens, the preseason defensive MVP.
The 6-foot, 218-pounder from Mesquite, Texas, was a unanimous All-Big Sky selection in 2011 after totaling a conference-high 17 tackles for loss and 105 total tackles.
He was joined on the preseason team by teammates Zach Minter, a senior defensive tackle; Brad Daly, a junior defensive end; Joel Fuller, a senior safety; Darius Jones, a senior cornerback; and Cody Kirk, a junior running back.
Southern Utah quarterback Brad Sorensen was named the preseason offensive MVP. The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder from Grand Terrace, Calif., threw for 3,143 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior while winning the Great West Conference's offensive player of the year award.
Southern Utah, Cal Poly, UC Davis and North Dakota have joined the Big Sky this year to give the conference 13 members in football - most in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Eastern Washington and UC Davis both placed four players on the preseason squad, followed by Portland State and Southern Utah with three each.
Select media and conference sports information directors selected the preseason team.
Preseason All-Big Sky Football Team
Offensive MVP - Brad Sorensen, Sr., QB, Southern Utah
Defensive MVP - Jody Owens, Sr., LB, Montana State
QB - Brad Sorensen, Sr., Southern Utah
RB - Zach Bauman, Jr., Northern Arizona
RB - Cody Kirk, Jr., Montana State
FB - Tevia Tolutau, So., Weber State
OL - Zach Brackus, Sr., Southern Utah
OL - Tytan Timoteo, Sr., Weber State
C - Ray Wilburn, Sr., UC Davis
OL - Danny Kistler, Jr., Montana
OL - Will Post, Sr., Eastern Washington
TE - Greg Hardy, Sr., Montana
WR - Nicholas Edwards, Sr., Eastern Washington
WR - Rodrick Rumble, Sr. Idaho State
WR - Greg Hardin, Sr., North Dakota
WR - Brandon Kaufman, Jr., Eastern Washington
DE - Brad Daly, Jr., Montana State
DE - Bobby Erskine, Sr., UC Davis
DT - Zach Minter, Sr., Montana State
DT - Cody Larsen, Sr., Southern Utah
LB - Jody Owens, Sr., Montana State
LB - Ian Sluss, Sr., Portland State
LB - Kennith Jackson, Sr., Cal Poly
LB - Clarence Bumpas, Jr., Northern Colorado
LB - Todd Davis, Jr., Sacramento State
CB - T.J. Lee III, Jr., Eastern Washington
CB - Darius Jones, Sr., Montana State
S - Kevyn Lewis, Sr., UC Davis
S - Joel Fuller, Sr., Montana State
PK - Zach Brown, Sr., Portland State
P - Colton Schmidt, Sr., UC Davis
Return - Dominic Gunn, Sr., Northern Colorado
ST - Nevin Lewis, Sr., Portland State