WAYNE, Neb. | Wayne State’s football team has been selected to finish fourth in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference’s South Division and seventh overall in the league’s coaches poll, both which were released Tuesday.
Eighth-year Wayne State Coach Dan McLaughlin guided the squad to a fifth consecutive winning season (7-4, 7-3 NSIC) a year ago, a first in the program’s 97-year history. Defensive lineman Richard Daniel and wide receiver Kevin Paulsen have been selected as players to watch by the league.
Daniel, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound senior from Papillion, Neb., has won All-NSIC South Division first-team honors in each of his last two seasons. Fifth on the Wildcats with 59 tackles last year, Daniel makes his mark as a pass rusher who tied for first in the NSIC in both sacks (eight) and forced fumbles (four) while also sharing a tie for second in the league in tackles for loss, recording 16 for a minus-71 yards.
Paulsen, a 5-9, 170-pound senior from Pierce, Neb., was an honorable mention South Division selection, recording 38 catches for 509 yards and three touchdowns. He also excels in special teams, returning 26 kickoffs for 664 yards and one touchdown while also returning a blocked kick 36 yards for a touchdown in last year’s 7-0 upset of then No. 1-ranked Minnesota-Duluth.
Wayne State will open the season Sept. 1 at MSU-Moorhead.