KC Keeler 2009 Team Overview

72 Hen, GoHens.net special correspondent
September 3, 2009

KC talking about the offense

There has been a major improvement in our offense since last year. The improvement of the offensive line has been dramatic over this past spring and summer. As a whole they have really grown and matured and have worked very hard to become a solid CAA unit. They are much bigger and stronger than last year.

Corey Nicholson has done a phenomenal job in leading that group. The whole line has taken on his personality and has shown great camaraderie and work ethic. Subsequently, they have all improved.

The addition of Josh Baker is another reason to feel good about the improvement of the offense. Josh had an outstanding pre-season camp. He gives us a lot of options in terms of how we will use the tight end.

I also am feeling better about our running back situation. Former walk-on David Hayes has done a real nice job and Phillip Thaxton has played well. What is nice is that we have some depth at running back in Jerry Butler, Leon Jackson and Walter Davis.

At the receiver position it has been nice to see Tommy Crosby have an outstanding camp. Mark Schenauer keeps getting better, Mark Mackey has had some flashes and Mark Duncan has had a very solid second half of training camp. I feel good about the two young receivers, Mike Milburn and Rob Jones. Rob will start for us opening night and will see action as a punt returner.

But what has made the offense click has been the solid play of Pat Devlin. Pat has played very well. He not only has a great grasp of the offense but gives the offense a lot of confidence. He has great poise and makes good decisions. Also, I think this offensive scheme and Pat's talents are a perfect match. He gets the ball out of his hand quickly while making good decisions which is very important in this offense.

We are much improved in so many ways from who we were last year.

KC talking about the defense

I've been a little disappointed with the defense during this pre-season camp. I think because of how well we played last year, no matter who was on the field, I just expected them to roll in here and dominate. And they haven’t. They have struggled some against the offense. I am hoping that this is a testament to the offense. But we all feel that if the defense stays healthy, there is enough talent on that side of the ball to be one of the better defenses in the league.

We have 4 young men in the secondary that play a lot of football for us, which should be the strength of the defensive team ( Anthony Bratton, Tyrone Grant, Charles Graves, and Anthony Walters). We have a number of guys on the defensive front, Brandon Gilbeaux, Chris Morales, John Higginson, and Siddiq Haynes. I’m also feeling good about the LB spot, and now with the strong play of Paul Worrilow, we have moved Matt Marcorelle back to the middle. They team up with Andrew Harrison (#40), who should have been rookie of the year in our conference last year. So it looks like a very talented group that I am hoping hits their stride this Friday night when the season starts.

KC talking about the front 4 rotation

You expend more energy on the defensive line than in any other position. Pass rushing in particular is physically very strenuous. It is important to have rotation. We have Marcorelle playing DE on nickel situations, and Morales bumps inside on DT in pass rush situations. Also, we have the ability to move Brandon Gilbeaux to DE to give us more depth since the loss of Scott von Duyke.

KC talking about the most improved player

Paul Worrilow came to us in the spring as a walk-on. Our 2008 recruiting class did not have a scholarship for the LB position, so we did not offer Paul. But it has worked out great for us that he came back this past spring from a semester at a junior college and has earned scholarship money for the fall.

KC talking about this years freshman class

We feel great about the freshmen class. Even the upper classmen have remarked about the freshmen class. We have 4 big physical true freshmen offensive linemen that will take a couple of years before they can play for us, which is okay. Of the 11 scholarships for the OL, we currently have one senior, one junior, four sophomores, one redshirt freshman, and the four true freshmen.

Trevor Sasek and walk-on Tim Donnelly have done a nice job and are still learning the system but I am happy with their progress.

Running back Walter Davis will probably redshirt this year and we will probably see Leon Jackson get a chance to play some varsity at running back and on special teams.

We have a senior, 2 juniors, and a sophomore at tight end, so Cody Magill is really just in a developmental stage. I believe if he works hard he will help us down the road.

In the defensive secondary, we will definitely play Kasseim Everett this year. He had a great camp. Ricky Tunstall will play on special teams, and on nickel and dime defenses. If we stay healthy at the safety spot, we will redshirt Tim Breaker.

At linebacker, Mike Hirt, Cazavious Ray, and Carl Smith will all see action on special teams this fall. On the DL Irvin Titre will be in the mix in some special packages. We are hoping to redshirt Bobby Kennedy even though he has done a nice job in training camp. Thomas Huff is in a situation similar to Cody Magill where we will redshirt him and feel he can help us down the road.

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