QB - Last year's starters (Kenny Davis and Woody Wilson) should be back, but Northeastern State averaged just 154 yards per game passing, and was 11th in passing efficiency in the LSC with a 101.3 rating.
RB - La'Ron Elmer, Prince McKinney, Chris Davis and Josh Lewis return (combined 889 yards, 6 TDs rushing) but all will be seniors.
LB - Terrance Gaston (2nd LSC North) was a senior last season, but Donald Dangerfield (2nd LSC North) and Jon Evans (HM LSC North) combined for 172 tackles with 20.5 for losses. Both will be seniors.
DB - Nick Dobler (2nd LSC North), Troy Adams, Shantel Mackey, MArquin Watts and Ryan Keenom combined for 9 interceptions, 23 passes broken up, and 194 tackles. Dobler, Adams and Mackey will be seniors.
WR - Trey McVay (29-343 6 TD) and Ben Randle (19-263 4 TD) were both 2nd Team LSC North last year, while TE Logan Cawyer was an honorable mention selection. Also returning are Edward Victorian, Sean Donohu and Anthony Moody who were a combined 44-602 and 2 TDs. McVay and Donohue are the only non-seniors in this group.
OL - Five players who started at least four games return, led by Michael Yoder, a 2nd team LSC North honoree. Colton Ables (HM LSC North), Nigel Bolden, Ben Beam, and Stephen Anderson are also slated to return, with only Bolden the only senior.
DL - T. J. Raymond (1st LSC North) is gone, but Billy Blackard and LeQuantum McDonald were both 2nd team selections and combined for 57 tackles, 16.5 for losses and 8 sacks. Caom Hansen, Travis Boswell, Ed Coleman, and Phillip Boyd also should return.
The Riverhawks could get immediate defensive help from OU transfer Gus Jones either at LB or DE (ESPN rated him as the #11 ILB in the nation) . Also look for LB Chris Meyers and DB Travon Brooks and WRs Kendall McKellum and Gionni Harris on offense. Punter Cody Lenz and kicker Drew Patton also need to step in to replace all conference players. The top high school recruit is Steven Hopper - ESPN Recruiting Insider had him as the #88 RB prospect in the nation. Other players to keep an eye on are OL Isikeli Cocker (2nd team All-State 5A), DE James Renfrow, and Athlete Daryn Alves.
LSC Ranking - 6
Overall Grade- B+
LB and WR (and maybe RB) seem to have gotten some immediate upgrades, while most other spots got some good youngsters for the future. NSU appears to have taken another step forward on the way back to respecability.