2017 Recap: South Dakota State Has Record Breaking Season
It ended in disappointing fashion, but just about anyway you look at it, the 2017 season was the most successful in South Dakota State football history.
The Jackrabbits finished with a program-best 11 wins and their first-ever top five seed in the FCS Playoffs.
The Jacks also hosted two post season games for the first time and became the first team in program history to win two playoff games in the same season.
It all ended with a 51-16 loss semifinal loss at James Madison, in a game that saw SDSU turn the ball over ten times.
The defeat also ends the college careers of 15 Jackrabbit seniors, including leading receivers Jake Wieneke and Dallas Goedert, leading rusher Brady Mengarelli, standout center Jacob Ohnesorge, defensive lineman Kellen Soulek, and safeties Nick Farina and Chris Balster.
SDSU will have plenty back on both sides of the ball in 2018, including quarterback Taryn Christion, running backs Isaac Wallace and Mikey Daniel, a quartet of wide receivers, and three offensive lineman.
Defensively, the Jacks will be loaded at linebacker with the return of Christian Rozeboom, the team's leading tackler as well as three other starters. Three regulars are back up front, as are a trio of regulars in the secondary.
Both punter Brady Hale and kicker Chase Vinatieri will return in 2018.
Next season is highlighted by South Dakota State opening the season at Iowa State, September 1.
I talked with Jackrabbit head coach John Stiegelmeier about the James Madison loss, the success of the 2017 Jackrabbits, and what to expect in 2018: