ALLENDALE, Mich. — The Grand Valley State Lakers returned to prominence in 2013 with a trip to the NCAA Division II National Semifinals.
Now the Lakers are ranked No. 2 in the nation in several preseason polls and for good reason. They return 21 seniors, 47 letter-winners, and 26 players who have started games for the Lakers.
All the Lakers want to talk about though is their season-opener. GVSU opens the 2014 campaign in California on September4 against Azusa Pacific in a game that will be televised by the CBS Sports Network.
The Lakers can credit their great depth to all the injuries they've suffered the last couple of seasons. Defensive lineman Matt Judon is well aware of those injuries. He missed four games in 2012, and then all of 2013 after suffering a season-ending knee injury on the seventh play of the season-opener.
Judon, a redshirt junior, is just one of many defensive lineman on the team which may be the Lakers' deepest position in 2014. Seniors Isiah Dunning, Frank Boenzi and Matt Mosley join Judon and fellow junior De'Ondre Hogan.
If it's not the defensive line, then maybe running back is the Lakers' deepest position. Michael Ratay returns from a season ending injury in 2013 to join fellow senior Chris Robinson and junior Kirk Spencer. The trio has combined for 3, 645 yards and 56 touchdowns on the ground with another 1, 163 yards on 94 receptions.