Three Portland State Vikings were named to the Preseason All-Big Sky team today at the Big Sky Conference Media Days in Park City, UT. Seniors Xavier Coleman and Jonathan Gonzales and junior Davond Dade were all selected to the 29-man team as voted on by Big Sky media.
Coleman, a cornerback from Portland’s Jesuit High School, was a top performer for the Vikings last season as he earned second team All-Big Sky Conference honors. Coleman made 52 tackles, had five interceptions and 13 pass breakups. He led the Big Sky in PBUs and ranked second in INTs behind teammate Patrick Onwuasor. He ranked eighth and 20th in the nation, respectively, in the two categories. In one of the Vikings’ biggest wins of the 2015 season, a 24-23 decision over Big Sky Champ Southern Utah, Coleman had three tackles, three pass breakups and two interceptions. He earned Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors for that performance.
Gonzales, a kicker from Apple Valley, CA, has twice earned All-Big Sky honors, being named second team in 2014 and third team in 2015. Gonzales made 13-16 field goals last season and has made 30-40 in his PSU career, twice hitting from over 50 yards. He made a game-winner in the final minute of a 38-35 victory over Cal Poly last season earning Big Sky Special Teams Player of the Week. Gonzales also established a new PSU record for consecutive extra points made (77).
Dade, a defensive end from Los Angeles, CA, was second team All-Big Sky Conference in 2015. He came on late in the season, starting the last five games and making 22 tackles, 3.5 sacks, three pass breakups and forcing a fumble. For the season, Dade had six sacks to lead the team and rank third in the Big Sky.
All-American wide receiver Cooper Kupp of Eastern Washington was named the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year in the Big Sky. Montana defensive end Caleb Kidder was chosen as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
The annual Big Sky Football Kickoff takes place on Monday and Tuesday. It marks the beginning of the 2016 football season. Viking quarterback Alex Kuresa met with Big Sky media on Monday during interview sessions. Viking Coach Bruce Barnum will meet with the media on Tuesday morning. The Big Sky will also release the Preseason Coaches and Media Polls on Tuesday.
2016 Preseason All-Big Sky Conference Team
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Caleb Kidder, Montana
Quarterback: Case Cookus, Northern Arizona
Running Back: John Santiago, North Dakota (Unanimous)
Running Back: Chad Newell, Montana State
Fullback: Joe Protheroe, Cal Poly (Unanimous)
Tight End: Steven Wroblewski, Southern Utah
Guard: Cameron Young, Weber State
Guard: JP Flynn, Montana State
Center: Blake Porter, Northern Arizona
Tackle: Jacob Julian, Northern Arizona
Tackle: Calvin Steyn, Weber State
Wide Receiver: Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington (Unanimous)
Wide Receiver: Emmanuel Butler, NAU
Wide Receiver: Mike Sharp, Southern Utah
Placekicker: Jonathan Gonzales, Portland State
Return Specialist: Ellis Onic II, Northern Colorado
Defensive End: Caleb Kidder, Montana
Defensive End: Davond Dade, Portland State
Defensive Tackle: Chance Bearnson, Southern Utah
Defensive Tackle: Chuntony Johnson, Northern Colorado
Outside Linebacker: Mike Needham, Southern Utah
Outside Linebacker: Mac Bignell, Montana State
Inside Linebacker: Emmett Tela, Weber State
Inside Linebacker: Manoah Pearson, Sacramento State
Cornerback: Xavier Coleman, Portland State
Cornerback: Taron Johnson, Weber State
Safety: Cole Reyes, North Dakota
Safety: Yamen Sanders, Montana
Punter: Tate Lewis, Southern Utah
Special Teams: Hakeem Deggs, Northern Colorado
Root Sports/Big Sky Conference Televised Games Of The Week
Sept. 24 – Montana at Cal Poly
Oct. 1 – UC Davis at Eastern Washington
Oct. 8 – Northern Arizona at Montana State
Oct. 15 – Montana State at Weber State
Oct. 22 – Eastern Washington at Montana State
Oct. 29 – Montana at Eastern Washington
Nov. 5 – Idaho State at Montana
Nov. 12 – UC Davis at Montana State
Fri., Nov. 18 – Eastern Washington at Portland State, 7 p.m.
Nov. 19 – Montana State at Montana