MSU Football Getting Votes in Preseason Poll

Midwestern State received votes in the American Football Coaches' Association Preseason Division II Poll released Tuesday afternoon.

The Mustangs finished its Lone Star Conference best 14th consecutive winning campaign closing the 2013 ledger with a 7-3 mark, but had its run of postseason appearances snapped at five as MSU advancing to the NCAA Division II playoffs in 2009, 2011 and 2012 and was selected for the Kanza Bowl in 2010.

Midwestern is one of 13 teams from the rugged Super Region Four to receive mention in the poll joining No. 2 Grand Valley State (Mich.), No. 4 Colorado State-Pueblo, No. 11 West Texas A&M, No. 13 Ohio Dominican, No. 17 Tarleton State (Texas) and No. 18 Indianapolis (Ind.).

Saginaw Valley State (Mich.), Ferris State (Mich.), Colorado Mines, Eastern New Mexico, Findlay (Ohio), Chadron State (Neb.) and Michigan Tech are also receiving votes.

Defending national champion Northwest Missouri State received all but one of the 32 first-place votes to top the poll followed by Grand Valley State, Minnesota-Duluth, Colorado State-Pueblo and North Alabama to round out the first five.

Closing out the Top 10 are No. 6 Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.), No. 7 Minnesota State-Mankato, No. 8 Henderson State (Ark.), No. 9 Pittsburg State (Kan.) and No. 10 West Chester (Pa.).

Henderson State received the remaining first-place vote.

Midwestern State opens the 2014 campaign by playing host to Missouri S&T on Sat., Sept. 13 at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Mustangs have received at least one vote in 96 of the last 97 polls dating back to the 2006 season.

"Rocket" Ismail to Highlight Welcome Back Dinner

The Eighth Annual Midwestern State Athletics Welcome Back Dinner features former Dallas Cowboy wide receiver and Notre Dame great Raghib Ismail as its guest speaker on Sunday, Aug. 24 at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

The event begins with an enhanced silent auction and social beginning at 5:30 p.m. with Dallas Cowboy and Midwestern State memorabilia as well as other valuable items.

The dinner, catered by the Branding Iron, follows at 6 p.m. and the program begins at approximately 6:45.

Reserve your seat by submitting $70 for a student-athlete sponsorship. A limited number of complete tables accommodating six people with sponsor acknowledgement remain available and can be purchased for $250. Additional seats are available for $40. For more information, contact Sheri Mummert at (940) 397-4779.

Ismail garnered first-team All-America honors during his sophomore and junior seasons at Notre Dame finishing runner-up for the Heisman Trophy to BYU's Ty Detmer in 1990.

Known as "The Rocket," he was a consensus All American and earned the Walter Camp Player of the Year, as selected by Division I coaches and sports information directors, in 1990 when he rushed for 537 yards and three touchdowns and snared 32 receptions for 699 yards and two TDs while amassing 4,187 all-purpose yards accounting for 15 scores.

Ismail remains Notre Dame's all-time leader in pass reception yards per catch (22.0); kickoff returns for touchdowns in a game with two (vs. Michigan in 1989 and again vs. Rice in 1988) and in a career with five; and kick return yards per attempt in a career (22.6).

A native of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Ismail first played professionally with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League where he was a CFL All Star and Most Valuable Player of the 79th Grey Cup in 1991.

Ismail was also a fourth-round pick of the Los Angeles Raiders in the 1991 National Football League draft.

He joined the Raiders for the 1993 season, played for the Carolina Panthers from 1996-98 and became a member of the Dallas Cowboys in 1999.

Ismail posted a pair of 1,000-yard receiving campaigns posting 69 receptions for 1,024 yards with eight touchdowns in 1998 for the Panthers before going for career highs of 80 receptions for 1,097 yards a year later for Dallas.

He finished his career with 363 receptions for 5,295 yards and 28 touchdowns over nine NFL seasons.

Ismail is listed as the 75th greatest football player of all time by College Football News. He was also selected by Sports Illustrated to the 85-man roster of its all-20th Century college football team.

He is the older brother of former Syracuse and NFL receiver Qadry "The Missile" Ismail and former Texas-El Paso and Arena Football League receiver Sulaiman "The Bomb" Ismail.