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  1. #1
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    '12 Early Spring--Defense and Special Teams

    *Second/Last of the Series

    Defensive Line

    Returning Starters
    RE Roosevelt Maggitt, DT Jake McDonough

    Experienced Players
    DT Cleyon Laing, DT Henry Simon, DT Walter Woods, DT Brandon Jensen, DE Willie Scott, DE Rony Nelson, DE David Irving

    Redshirts and Newcomer
    DT Quenton Pompey, DE Devin Lemke, DE Corey Morrissey

    Whoa…is this depth and experience that I see? What the heck???

    Matter of fact, if Maggitt stays healthy and steps into Neal’s minutes, Pompey joins the mix of players absorbing Ruempolhamer’s reps, and Irving (or Scott) step into Lattimer’s starting role, then all that’s left is for Nelson and Lemke to absorb the part time role that Irving filled as a true frosh, and this group shouldn’t miss a beat from it’s late season performances.

    Spotlight On:
    Can I spotlight them all? I suppose that I could, considering that it’s my list. Well, instead, I’ll go with Roosevelt Maggitt. I thought that he was primed for a big junior season last Fall, but an injury washed that away. In his place, Patrick Neal performed valiantly, but didn’t have either Maggitt’s athleticism or size. Willie Scott used his quickness to make tackles, but lacked size. If at full health, Rosey should have the big season anticipated a year ago—helped by an improved rotation inside at tackle, as well as the hoped for emergence of David Irving on the opposite side. That dynamic could allow for some interesting pincers that make things easier for all around. .

    Returning Starters
    Jake Knott* and A.J. Klein

    Jeremiah George, Jevohn Miller, C.J. Morgan(N), Matt Morton

    With Knott out after surgery, that leaves Klein to break some hea--, er, break in the younger guys alone. It’ll be interesting to see how the coaches decide to play it. I might be tempted to let Morgan or Morton fill Knott’s spot for the Spring, just so his ’11 backup Miller, can get reps to tangle with George for the middle spot. Of course, they just may choose to play all nickel all Spring as well.

    Spotlight On:
    C.J. Morgan 6’2” 210 Redshirt Sophomore, Nickel/Linebacker
    Morgan was a bundle of unrealized athleticism who was tossed into the nickel slot when another player unexpectedly left the team last summer. He missed a part of the middle of the ’11 season, but his back to back stops on each sideline were a big assist in upsetting OSU. This is just a hunch, but I think that he’s one of the guys they groom as a candidate to replace Knott when the ’13 season rolls around.

    Defensive Backs
    Returning Starters
    CB Jeremy Reeves, S Jacques Washington

    S Durrell Givens, S Jared Brackens, CB Jansen Watson, S/N Deon Broomfield, CB Matt Thomas

    Newcomers and Redshirts
    CB Cliff Stokes, S/N T.J. Mutcherson, CB Kenneth Lynn, CB Sam Richardson, S Darian Cotton,

    Most of the attention will be on the fight for the open spot vacated by Leonard Johnson. Watson may have the inside track, with time in the system and special teams success. I’m pretty sure, however, that Stokes will be working hard to play catchup, while Lynn and Thomas may prove to be dark horse contenders.

    While Washington is a rock to build around at safety, Givens may be unavailable for the Spring, which will give the younger guys a chance to shine. Not so much Brackens, who would be dueling with Givens for a starting spot anyway, but freshmen like Cotton and Mutcherson, who should benefit from the extra time and attention. Mutcherson I like a great deal, and it will be interesting to see what Cotton brings to the table.

    Spotlight On:
    Kenneth Lynn Cornerback 5’10” 172 Redshirt Freshman
    Again, lots of guys could have gotten the spotlight. Jansen Watson, for example. A couple of years ago, Austen Arnaud mentioned Watson as one of the fastest players on the team. I’ll wonder if Lynn, a high school hurdler, has surpassed him. Oh, and if 172 might be optimistic, I hope he at least reaches that by next fall. It appears to me that Kenneth definitely has the speed and athleticism to be a standout corner somewhere down the line—and as far as I’m concerned, the sooner the better.


    Kirby Vanderkamp provides an anchor to build around…
    What’s it going to be? As I recall, the last time I remember a situation like this, the (previous) coaching staff simply elected not to use a placekicker at all in the Spring Ga—er, Scrimmage.
    Deep Snapper
    Time to break in a new one. Anyone have any ideas?
    Aaron Horne, Josh Lenz and Jarvis West make a nice starting point. Anyone else (Nealy?) who manages to break into the rotation is icing on the cake.

    Spotlight On:
    I’m not going to pick the Deep Snapper here. Or, really, reach for anyone else. If anything, I’ll be curious to see how CPR might use DeVondrick Nealy’s rumored elusiveness on returns. As if the guys back there aren’t already enough!

    Go Cyclones!

  2. #2
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    Re: '12 Early Spring--Defense and Special Teams

    Thanks for the write-up! Can't wait for FB!

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