CHARLOTTE--The Sporting News has released its 2016 College Football Preview edition and the Adrian College Bulldogs are nationally-ranked 25th in the publication's NCAA Division III Preseason Top 25.
Adrian is the only Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) program rated in this preseason poll by TSN.
Head coach Jim Deere '89 returns for his seventh season at the helm and his 25th year overall patrolling the Bulldogs sidelines. Deere is 43-19 since taking the reins in 2010 and has led AC to the fourth-best winning percentage (.714) for all NCAA schools, and the best record at 30-12 among Division III programs, based in Michigan over the previous four years.
The Bulldogs return six defensive starters, 10 on offense and two specialists among scores of lettermen from last year's squad that went 7-3 overall and 4-2 for a third-place tie in the MIAA. Two-time All-MIAA First Team and D3football.com All-North Region running back Emmanuel Stewart (St. Petersburg, Fla./Gibbs High School) headlines the list, as he enters his junior season needing only 481 yards to become the Bulldogs' all-time leading rusher. Adrian has two all-conference defensive stalwarts in junior defensive lineman Damon Fuller (Redford, Mich./Thurston) and sophomore outside linebacker Chris Adams (St. Petersburg, Fla./Gibbs).
Adrian student-athletes will report to preseason training camp next week in preparation for the Bulldogs' 112th season which opens on Friday, Sep. 2 at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., at Hanson Stadium.
2016 SPORTING NEWS PRESEASON TOP 25 (2015 record in parentheses)
1. Linfield-Ore. (12-1)
2. Mount Union-Ohio (15-0)
3. Wisconsin-Whitewater (12-2)
4. Mary Hardin-Baylor/Texas (10-2)
5. St. Thomas-Minn. (14-1)
6. Wesley-Del. (11-2)
7. Wisconsin-Oshkosh (11-2)
8. Wheaton-Ill. (11-1)
9. Saint John's-Minn. (10-2)
10. Ohio Northern (9-3)
11. Hardin-Simmons/Texas (9-2)
12. Albright-Pa. (10-2)
13. Johns Hopkins-Md. (11-1)
14. Texas Lutheran (8-2)
15. Whitworth-Wash. (9-2)
16. Thomas More-Ky. (11-1)
17. Washington and Lee-Va. (10-1)
18. SUNY-Cortland (9-3)
19. St. Lawrence-N.Y. (8-3)
20. Trinity University-Texas (8-2)
21. John Carroll-Ohio (8-2)
22. Wisconsin-Platteville (8-2)
23. North Central-Ill. (7-3)
24. Washington & Jefferson-Pa. (8-2)
25. Adrian (7-3)
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