ESU football returns quality, experienced linebacker core

Emporia State Hornets

EMPORIA (KSNT)- Emporia State football returns three All-MIAA linebackers for the 2021 season.

Eight returning linebackers at ESU have been with the team three or more years.

The group is headlined by All-American Jace McDown, who is expected to be one of the top players in the conference. McDown was the MIAA fall student athlete of the year for 2019-20. He finished the 2019 season tied for second in the conference in total tackles and led the league in solo tackles.

Gee Stanley also returns for the Hornets at linebacker. Stanley recorded 65 total tackles in 2019 and forced three fumbles.

Rossville native Dawson Hammes is another top returning linebacker for ESU. Hammes recorded eight tackles for loss in 2019 and 70 tackles total, earning him All-MIAA recognition.

Cade Harelson is expected to make an impact this fall, too. Harelson, a redshirt junior, ranked No. 16 in the MIAA in tackles in 2019, despite missing two games and playing the final four with an injury.

Sixteen out of the 17 listed linebackers on the Hornets roster came to Emporia State as freshman. Twelve of those linebackers are from the state of Kansas.

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