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The pools are out for the Men’s College DI 7s Championship being held in Glendale, Colo., next weekend. There are 16 teams slotted into four pools and the competition will sure to be strong in the cup rounds.
Defending champions Lindenwood lead pool A. The Lions have most of their team returning from last season. With the electric Deion Mikesell and Cristian Rodriguez and the playmaker Nick Feakes still in the fold, Lindenwood will be extremely potent.
They are joined by Arkansas, Utah and Missouri. Utah is a feisty team, that plays a very old school brand of 7s. They starve teams of possession and bottle teams up defensively. The Utes took Kutztown to overtime in Las Vegas.
This is the group of death. Reigning Penn Mutual CRC champions Cal opted for the USA Rugby championship this year. The Bears lost stalwarts Anthony Salaber and Russell Webb but always reload. They did, however, lose to Arizona in the PAC 7s last fall.
Notre Dame College and Indiana join Cal. The former is competitive in 7s every year, and is led by Collegiate All-American Marcus Tuopola. The Falcons took Kutztown to the brink, losing in dramatic fashion earlier this year.
Indiana has been strong on the 7s circuit for the last few seasons, and made its way to the final four at the CRC last year. Alex Dorrier made a name for himself in that tournament and will likely be leaned on heavy this year.
Fordham rounds out the group.
Arizona is the favorite in this pool. The Wildcats have a deep and experienced side this year. Last fall, they defeated Cal in overtime to capture the PAC 7s. Led by Kyle Rogers and Jonah Eldridge, this seasoned Wildcats team will be looking to make a deep run.
After a tremendous 15s campaign in its first DIA season, Grand Canyon will look to strike in 7s. Maceo Brown, who has been on the US national team radar, will lead this squad.
Another upstart team in Nevada will look to show well in this tournament. Nevada made it to the DIAA spring final. The team is big and fast and could pose match up problems for opponents.
Florida International won the SIRC and will join them in the group.
Pool D is another difficult group. Kutztown has not lost a 7s game this spring and will be one of the teams to beat this year. Sophomore Dmonte Noble is as dynamic as any college 7s player. Kutztown’s combination of strength and speed is difficult to match.
After missing out on qualification for the CRC, AIC will take its shot in Glendale. The Yellow Jackets are led by standout Jihad Khabir. Khabir is a try machine and propels the AIC offense. If AIC is to make a big run, he will be a big reason why.
Wisconsin has showed well at the CRC in the past few years and could be a sleeper team. Joining the three of them is NCRC champions Western Washington.
|Pool A||Pool B||Pool C||Pool D|
|Arkansas||Notre Dame College||Grand Canyon||AIC|
|Utah||Fordham||Florida International||Western Washington|