August 25, 2011

Defense Looks for Stability in 2011

More news about: Mississippi College

CLINTON, MS - In the coming weeks, we will take a chance to preview each position on the field for the Choctaws as we head toward the season opening "Backyard Brawl" on September 3rd against Millsaps.  We invite MC fans to take a look and get more acclimated with the 2011 group of Choctaws.

The schedule will be as follows:

Quarterbacks – August 15th
Running Backs – August 16th
Wide Receivers / Tight Ends – August 17th
Offensive Line – August 18th
Defensive Line – August 19th
Linebackers – August 20th
Secondary – August 22nd
Special Teams – August 23rd
Offense – August 24th
Defense – TODAY
Overall – TOMORROW

As the 2011 season opens, the Choctaws welcome their third defensive coordinator in three years as Chad Walker steps into the position.  The New Orleans native brings a wealth of experience from the NFL with the Miami Dolphins and working with high-profile college coaches in Dom Capers, Will Muschamp, Kirby Smart and Bo Pelini.  The Choctaws finished middle of the pack in the ASC last season in most defensive categories, but they bring back seven defensive starters.  With the experience coming back to go along with a strong recruiting class, MC has a chance to be one of the top defenses in the league.

It all starts up front for the Choctaws as they have a lot of competition for the starting spots with the departure of Nolan Willisson and Jarryn Bingham and Sam Maze making the move to linebacker.  Senior Jeremy Horton will lead the line from the tackle position as he will be charged with holding up the defensive line and allowing the linebackers to make plays.  Freshman John Bertucci will add depth in the middle as his work ethic will give the Choctaws two options at the position.

On the outside, the Choctaws have a big position battle as five players have pushed for the two spots.  Seniors Dekores Branch and Justin McClinton have been impressive in preseason camp and could join Horton to form one of the more experienced lines in the conference.

Junior Paul Turner has come on strong in the preseason, as well.  His work ethic and non-stop motor make it difficult for the coaching staff to keep him out of lineup.  Two freshmen have stepped in and pushed for immediate playing time in Josh Williams and Mike Mitchell.  Both rookies have outstanding athletic ability and will keep the upperclassmen working to hold on to their position.

At linebacker, the Choctaws bring back a lot of experience with six players returning that have starting experience at MC.  Senior Jeremy Bertrand leads the group from the middle after pacing the team with 71 tackles, including 37 solo stops.  The Abbeville, LA native also pulled down three interceptions, while recording double-digits in tackles twice.

Senior Sam Maze made the transition from the defensive line to the linebacker position and will join Bertrand in the middle .  Maze made 19 tackles in 2010 and will team with Bertrand to make the calls for the defense.

On the outside, senior Jarryn Bingham joins Maze as a defensive lineman turned linebacker.  Bingham led the Choctaws with 9.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in 2010.  The Ridgeland native will have a chance to make plays from his position while continuing to put pressure on the quarterback.

Sophomores Baylor BlanchardLanden Moore, and Dallas Bogle also return to the position after seeing starts during the 2010 season.  Each presents a bright future for the Choctaws over the next three years.  Junior transfer Doc Ward also steps in and will give the Choctaws another dynamic option.

The Choctaws also brought in some promising freshman in the 2011 class with the addition of Dillon Causey and Melvin Dunn.  Both are players that could make an immediate and long-term impact on the MC program.

The defensive backfield also brings back a load of experience as seniors Luke Petitto and Dustin Retherford return for a final season.  Petitto was a Second Team All-South Region selection after leading the Choctaws with five interceptions and finishing second on the team with 64 tackles and 9.0 tackles for loss.  Retherford is the only returning All-ASC player for the Choctaws after finishing third on the team with 48 tackles, while picking off three passes in a win over Howard Payne.

Junior Horace Allen and sophomore Dylan Klibert give the Choctaws viable options in the secondary.  Allen started seven games last season and finished fourth on the team with 39 tackles.  Klibert saw a significant increase in his playing time as the season progressed in 2010 and will provide toughness.  The Choctaws will also use freshman Garrett Horst who provides MC with some size.

The cornerback position is one that brings back a proven player in senior Jarrad Craine.  The Brandon native finished sixth on the team with 37 tackles and hauled in one interception while most teams were forced to throw in the other direction because of his cover skills.

Sophomore Darren Watts is the favorite to man the other cornerback position with his athleticism.  Watts was  safety last season, but has the cover skills to play on the outside.  Freshman Raeon Jones has stepped in and picked up the defense quickly.  The rookie has a chance to push Craine and Watts for playing time.

Tomorrow we will preview the Choctaw schedule.

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Video Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
7:00 PM
Denison at Marietta
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
8:30 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Recap Photos