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Montana State headlines All-Big Sky preseason team

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

Offense

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

Defense

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

Special Teams

PK - Zach Brown, Sr., Portland State

P - Colton Schmidt, Sr., UC Davis

Return - Dominic Gunn, Sr., Northern Colorado

ST - Nevin Lewis, Sr., Portland State