July 20, 2011

Trio named Preseason All-Big Sky by Phil Steele's

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – Northern Colorado seniors Lee Barbiasz, Nick Hernon and Brandon Owens were all named to the Phil Steele's 2011 Preseason All-Big Sky Second Team, the publication announced Wednesday.

Barbiasz, a senior offensive guard from Milford, N.H. (Kent Prep), was an honorable mention all-conference selection at the end of the 2010 season, and is one of four returning starters on the Bears offensive line, along with Nick Candler, Alex Shapiro and Amal Gumbs – who missed 2010 due to injury. Barbiasz has started each of the last 22 games for Northern Colorado at tackle.

Hernon, a senior defensive end from Castle Rock, Colo. (Douglas County) is a two-time Big Sky All-Conference selection. A season ago, he led the team with 10.5 tackles for loss and is second amongst returners in tackles from 2010. Hernon started in 10 of the team's 11 games and he and fellow senior defensive end V.J. Holmes look to anchor the line in 2011.

Owens enters his second year with the Bears after transferring from Colorado State. The senior from Bakersfield, Calif. (Ridgeview) is the team's returning leading tackler from 2010 and was the last Bear to block a punt, doing so against South Dakota on Oct. 30. He led the club with six pass break ups after appearing in all 11 games, starting in four.

Northern Colorado begins fall camp on Aug. 4, opening the season on Sept. 3 against Lindenwood at Nottingham Field at 1:35 pm.