Just moments after the final whistle of the 2016 season cut the air, the excitement for the 2017 Valparaiso University football team began to build. The Crusaders, who will bring back the bulk of their key players on both offense and defense, are poised to take the next step after finishing with their highest Pioneer Football League win total since 2003 and equaling their highest overall win total since 2007.
The Valparaiso University football program has announced that the NCAA has granted defensive back J.J. Nunes an additional season of athletic eligibility. Nunes plans to return to the Crusaders for the 2017 season.
The Valparaiso University football program welcomed its newest crop of recruits during Wednesday’s National Signing Day as 32 current high school seniors signed Letters of Agreement to play for the Crusaders. Valpo is still in the process of rounding out the recruiting class, which is expected to feature approximately 40 players.
The Pioneer Football League announced its Academic Honor Roll on Monday afternoon and Valparaiso claimed 41 players on the annual list. The PFL as a whole recognized 576 student-athletes from its 11 member institutions.
Valparaiso University football players Brian Lang (Chicago, Ill. / Marist), Jarrett Morgan (Cooper City, Fla. / Cooper City) and Jake Simpson (Wyandotte, Mich. / Roosevelt) received recognition from the Pioneer Football League for their accomplishments both in the classroom and on the playing field on Wednesday.
Valparaiso University freshman Bailey Gessinger (Goshen, Ind. / Northwood) finished his rookie football campaign with postseason honors on Tuesday. Gessinger was named to the all Pioneer Football League second-team, based on selections made by the league’s coaches. In addition, six Crusaders earned all-PFL honorable mention.
The Valparaiso University football team finished a year of improvement with the largest improvement yet on Senior Day at Brown Field on Saturday. The Crusaders sprinted out to a 28-3 lead after one quarter and held on for a 42-39 victory over Jacksonville. The victory marked a significant step forward for the Crusaders, who lost to the Dolphins by 45 points last season. Valpo finished the year with its highest league win total since 2003.