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UMHB football ranked top 5 in three preseason polls

Belton, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team is ranked in the top five in the country in three different preseason polls this summer. The Cru has been ranked in the top five by D3football.com, Lindy’s Magazine and the Sporting News. UMHB also has two Preseason All-Americans in those publications.

UMHB totaled 523 points and is ranked fifth in the country by D3football.com. Defending national champion Mount Union was the pick to repeat with 18 first-place votes and 613 total points. Linfield College took three first place votes and 583 total points for second place, Wisconsin-Whitewater claimed three first-place votes and 574 total points as the pick at #3 and defending national runner-up St. Thomas (MN) grabbed the other first place vote and 536 total points for fourth place.

Four of UMHB’s 2016 opponents are mentioned in the D3football.com Top 25 Poll. Linfield heads that list at #2, Hardin-Simmons University is ranked 10th with 354 total points, Texas Lutheran University totaled 117 total points for 21st and East Texas Baptist is receiving votes worth 28 points. D3football.com will release its Preseason All-America Team later this summer.

Sporting News has UMHB picked fourth in the nation in its Preseason Poll. Linfield is #1 in that poll, followed by Mount Union and Wisconsin-Whitewater. Hardin-Simmons is ranked #11 and Texas Lutheran comes in at #14 in the Sporting News Poll.

Lindy’s Magazine ranks the Cru at #5 in the country. That publication lists Mount Union first, followed by Wisconsin-Whitewater, St. Thomas and Wesley. Lindy’s tabs Linfield at #6, Texas Lutheran at #15 and has Hardin-Simmons at #23.

UMHB’s Teidrick Smith and Broderick Jenkins were both named First Team Preseason All-Americans by both Sporting News and Lindy’s. Lindy’s also named Smith the National Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Smith, a senior defensive end from Hallettsville High School, set UMHB and American Southwest Conference records with 18 sacks and 27 tackles for loss last season. Jenkins, a senior offensive guard from Frisco Centennial High School, was a D3football.com All-American and All-South Region selection last season. UMHB fans will also get a chance to see Lindy’s Preseason Offensive Player of the Year in action this season. Linfield quarterback Sam Riddle earned that nod and will visit Crusader Stadium when the two teams face off on September 17th.

The Cru is coming off an 11-2 season and UMHB advanced to the Quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division III National Championships before falling at Linfield 38-35. The Cru has won or shared 11 straight ASC Championships and 13 of the last 15. UMHB expects to return seven offensive starters, eight defensive starters and 51 letter winners from that team this season.

The 2016 edition of the Cru will report to campus on August 10th. UMHB will kick off the 2016 season with a home game at Ohio Wesleyan University on September 3rd.

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