FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -- North Dakota State has named six players as captains for the 2016-17 season, four defensive players and two offensive.
Seniors Nick DeLuca, Chase Morlock, and MJ Stumpf along with Juniors Tre Dempsey and Nate Tanguay, and Sophomore Easton Stick have been tabbed as captains for the five-time defending national champions.
Each of the players are first year captains, with all of 2015's captains gone to graduation (Carson Wentz, Jordan Champion, CJ Smith, Joe Haeg, and Zach Vraa).
Linebacker Nick DeLuca led the Bison in tackles in 2015 with 135, tying the school record with 59 solo tackles. DeLuca has been named to the Butkus Award Watch List, given annually to the best linebacker in college football.
Alongside DeLuca in the linebacking corps, MJ Stumpf is coming off a 2015 season where he finished second on the team with 81 tackles including six tackles for loss.
Running back Chase Morlock finished second on the team with 10 touchdowns in 2015. He collected five touchdowns on the ground with 354 yards on 95 rushes to go along with 21 receptions for 285 yards and five receiving touchdowns.
Defensive back Tre Dempsey started all 15 games in 2015 at free safety, finishing the season with three interceptions and nine pass breakups.
Defensive tackle Nate Tanguay grabbed six tackles for loss including 2.5 sacks as an All-Missouri Valley Football conference honorable mention in his sophomore season in 2015.
Quarterback Easton Stick filled in for the injured Carson Wentz going 8-0 as a starter. Stick finished 2015 90 of 147 passing for 1,144 yards and 13 touchdowns with four interceptions. He finished the season as NDSU's third leading rusher with 498 yards and five touchdowns on 85 carries.
Stick becomes the first sophomore team captain since quarterback Steve Walker in 2005.