Cedar City, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - Southern Utah will be without standout linebacker Zak Browning during the 2014 season while he goes on an LDS Church mission.
Browning was named to the All-Big Sky first team as a sophomore last season and ranked second on the Thunderbirds with 106 tackles.
He was first among all FCS freshmen with 115 tackles in 2012, winning the Big Sky freshman of the year honor. He also finished fifth in the Jerry Rice Award voting for national freshman of the year.
An LDS Church mission usually last two years, so Browning likely would miss the 2015 season as well. He can choose to return to Southern Utah after the mission, but the Thunderbirds would have to re-recruit him.
Southern Utah made the FCS playoffs for the first time last season and finished with an 8-5 record and the No. 21 ranking in The Sports Network FCS Top 25.