Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Seniors Joe Akey and Cameron Harper are among the defensive returners to the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) football team in 2012, and both have been named co-captains of the squad.
Akey, a defsenive lineman for UMD, returns to the team this season after sitting out the 2011 campaign with an injury. He was in 2010 the team leader with 6.5 sacks and 11.0 tackles for a loss, earning all-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) second team honors for his efforts.
"I couldn't be more excited to be back on the field with the guys," Akey said. "Last year, having to watch on the sidelines killed me. Away games I had to watch on the computer, and I was losing it. Just finally being out here, I'm so happy."
Harper, meanwhile, comes off another solid season at free safety in 2011 which saw him finish fourth on the team with 75 tackles. Follwing that junior campaign he was named for the second straight year to the all-NSIC second team.
"Every year, each team has a new identity," Harper said of the 2012 Bulldogs. "So far, this team's been doing really well in the summer and the workouts. Everyone is really excited about this year."
UMD opens the season August 30 on the road to Southwest Minnesota State, with the team's home opener set for September 8 against Winona State. All UMD home games this season can be seen live in the Northland on the My 9 Sports Network.