Bulldogs Announced Captains For 2019 Football Season

UMD Football UMD Football |  Photo: Courtesy of KSFY.

WDIO Sports
Created: May 14, 2019 10:50 PM

Duluth, Minn. - Five players will have the honor of being Captains for the UMD football team this upcoming season.

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A trio of seniors - free safety Bill Atkins, linebacker Isaac Erdmann and defensive end Tom Johnson - along with junior quarterback John Larson and junior wide receiver Johnny McCormick will all serve as the University of Minnesota Duluth's team captains this fall when the defending Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) champion Bulldogs engage in their 87th season of intercollegiate football.

Atkins, a native of Minnetonka, Minn., assumed a fulltime starting role in the UMD defensive secondary last fall and went on to attain All-NSIC second team recognition. He finished second among Bulldogs in total tackles with a career-high 55 stops and also had a pair of pass breakups to his junior year credit.

After undergoing offseason surgery and sitting out the entire 2017 season,, Erdmann enjoyed a breakout year as a junior and landed a spot on the All-NSIC second team. The Menasha, Wis., product had a hand in 43 total tackles (the fourth-highest harvest on the club) -- 8.5 of which resulted in negative yardage for the opposition -- while starting all 12 outings.

Johnson was handed the keys to the starting left defensive end assignment in 2018 and responded to that promotion with a selection to the All-NSIC second team. In 12 starts, the Freedom, Wis., was credited with 19 total tackles -- which paced all UMD defensive linemen -- including 2.0 sacks and three quarterback hurries.

Despite being injured for the final five outings of the 2018 season, Larson still managed to put up numbers worthy of All-NSIC first team praise. In addition to completing 60.5 percent of his passes (going 101-of-167) and throwing for 1,343 yards, the two-year starter out of Braham, Minn., established a career best for total offense (a team-leading 1,778 yards) and ranked second among Bulldog in rushing (435 yards and five touchdowns on 82 carries).

McCormick, who hails from Waterford, Wis., played in all 12 games last fall and came through with 23 receptions for 397 yards. His five touchdown catches were the most of any Bulldog while his 17.3 yards per reception average took a backseat on the club to only Jason Balts' 18.9 mark.

Seventh-year head coach Curt Wiese and the Bulldogs, who went 11-1 overall (and a perfect 11-0 during the regular season), captured a share of the NSIC championship while claiming the conference's North Division title for the 11th year in a row and earned their ninth NCAA Division II playoff berth since 2008, will convene for preseason camp on Aug. 12 with the 2019 season opener set for Sept. 5 against visiting Minot State University.

(Contributions from Bob Nygaard, UMD Associate Athletic Director: Communications.)


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