Replacing a legend
With the beginning of the 2016-2017 football campaign coming up, the Bulldogs have some large shoes to fill, especially at the quarterback position.
After relying heavily on the arm and legs of two-time Harlon Hill Trophy winner Jason Vander Laan for the past four years, Ferris State will have to find a quarterback who can pick up where Vander Laan left off.
Last year, Vander Laan accounted for roughly 67 percent of the total yards for the 11-1 Bulldogs either on the ground or through the air. Vander Laan is now fighting for a permanent spot on the New York Jets’ 53-man roster.
Vander Laan’s backup last season was, now-senior, Tyler Bermingham, who played at least one snap in all 12 games last season. But there are plenty of other quarterbacks on the roster that could make a push for the starting position, including Eastern Michigan transfer Reggie Bell. Bulldog fans will know for sure who will be the starter come Thursday, Sept. 1, when the Dawgs take on Ohio Dominican at 7:30 p.m. on Top Taggart field in Big Rapids.
Bulldog football ranked No. 12 in preseason polls
Ferris State football is ranked No. 12 nationally in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II Preseason Coaches Poll.
The Bulldogs finished their second straight undefeated regular season last year, and will be looking for their third straight GLIAC title in the 2016-2017 season.
Ferris State was ousted in the second round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs last year in a 38-34 loss to Grand Valley State.
Ferris volleyball ranked No. 8
Ferris State women’s volleyball has been named the No. 8 ranked team in the nation by the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division II preseason poll for 2016.
The Bulldogs had a 33-3 record in 2015 and made it to the 16th round of the Division II NCAA Tournament before being bested 3-2 by the Rockhurst University Hawks.
Though the Bulldogs will be returning 12 letter-winners from last season, they must still replace four former starters, two of which were All-Americans.