Dukes Picked to Finish Second in NEC
Aug. 12, 2013
PITTSBURGH - Duquesne University has been picked to finish second in the Northeast Conference Football League, according to a preseason poll of the league's seven head coaches released today.
Defending champion Wagner was tabbed as the preseason favorite with four first place votes. Duquesne, whose five NEC losses last season each came by seven or fewer points, received three first place votes. The Dukes were followed by Bryant, Robert Morris, Saint Francis, Central Connecticut State and Sacred Heart.
This is the third-straight year Duquesne has been picked second in the NEC's preseason poll. In 2011, DU tied for the league title with Albany with a 7-1 record and last year the Dukes finished tied for sixth at 3-5.
Ninth-year head coach Jerry Schmitt returns 13 starters, including seven on offense, and six on defense.
"It is nice for the program to be recognized, but in a league as balanced as the NEC, the gap between number one and number seven is very small," said Schmitt. "Wagner was picked to finish seventh in last year's preseason poll and went on to win the championship as well as an NCAA playoff game. Our coaches and players both know that its what happens on the field that matters. I expect the league to be incredibly balanced and competitive again in 2013."
A pair of Dukes who were First Team All-NEC picks last season - senior linebacker Dorian Bell (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway/Ohio State), senior receiver Gianni Carter (Eugene, Ore./Marist/Montana State) - were named to the preseason All-NEC team. They are joined by senior offensive lineman Nick Redden (Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield Area).
Duquesne, which opened Fall camp on August 5, kicks off the 2013 season at home against Albany at 12:10 p.m. on Aug. 31.
2013 Northeast Conference Football League Preseason Poll
1. Wagner (4)