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Siouxland seniors lead South Dakota football team

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Brandt Van Roekel is one of 20 Iowans on South Dakota's roster. Brandt Van Roekel is one of 20 Iowans on South Dakota's roster.
VERMILLION, SD (KTIV) -

Playing in the strongest FCS conference in the country, the University of South Dakota recruits nationally. As an example, the Coyotes have 12 players from Florida and six from California. But most of their recruits come from their own backyard.

USD has 20 players from Iowa -- the most from any state -- 13 from South Dakota and 8 from Nebraska.

Senior wide receiver Brandt Van Roekel, from Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley, is a team captain. He led the 'Yotes in receiving yards per game last season.

Another captain from Siouxland is offensive lineman Stetson Dagel. The senior from Cherokee started all 11 games last season at left guard, and did not have a penalty all season.

They are two of 17 seniors who want to end their careers on a high note.

"Everyone's going to buy in that the guy next to them is going to do their job every single play," said Van Roekel. "And then, just the little things. We were so close last year, you hate to bring it up. Coach has been really putting it in our heads that if we do the little things right, the wins are going to take care of themselves."

"This program's headed in the right direction," said Dagel. "Last year we kind of got a taste of it and we were so close. But we're really looking to get over that hump and put our foot on their throats and finish games that we didn't quite finish last year."

The Coyotes open the season in Des Moines, against Drake on September 2. After a trip to Bowling Green in week two, the home opener is against North Dakota on September 16.

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