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. 30: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Randolph-Macon at Shenandoah
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6:30 PM
Emory and Henry at Washington and Lee
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Oct. 1: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Massachusetts Maritime at Fitchburg State
Preview Preview Live Stats
12:00 PM
Becker at Gallaudet
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Hobart
Video Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
RPI at Rochester
Video Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Endicott at MIT
Video Video Preview Live Stats
12:00 PM
Juniata at Johns Hopkins
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Montclair State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
Hamilton at Wesleyan
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1:00 PM
Bates at Tufts
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Wabash at Hiram
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Middlebury at Colby
Video
1:00 PM
Amherst at Bowdoin
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1:00 PM
Frostburg State at Kean
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kenyon at DePauw
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1:00 PM
Ferrum at Greensboro
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1:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Methodist
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
FDU-Florham at Wilkes
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Anna Maria at Castleton
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1:00 PM
Moravian at Ursinus
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Stevenson at Misericordia
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1:00 PM
Springfield at St. Lawrence
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1:00 PM
Thomas More at Westminster (Pa.)
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1:00 PM
Alma at Kalamazoo
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1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Dickinson
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1:00 PM
Wesley at Southern Virginia
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1:00 PM
Adrian at Albion
Preview
1:00 PM
Husson at SUNY-Maritime
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Apprentice at Alfred State
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1:00 PM
TCNJ at Salisbury
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Buffalo State at St. John Fisher
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Salve Regina at Curry
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1:00 PM
McDaniel at Gettysburg
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1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Lebanon Valley
1:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Denison
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1:00 PM
Utica at Ithaca
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1:00 PM
Alfred at Morrisville State
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Western New England at Nichols
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
King's at Albright
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Catholic at Guilford
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Susquehanna
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1:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Trine
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Huntingdon at N.C. Wesleyan
Video Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at MacMurray
1:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at Chicago
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Crown
1:30 PM
Oberlin at Allegheny
Video Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Mount Ida at Norwich
Video Live Stats
1:30 PM
Trinity (Conn.) at Williams
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1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Marietta
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1:30 PM
Muskingum at Heidelberg
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1:30 PM
Union at WPI
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1:30 PM
Maine Maritime at Coast Guard
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1:30 PM
John Carroll at Wilmington
Video Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Ohio Northern
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1:30 PM
Franklin at Manchester
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1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Hanover
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1:30 PM
Widener at Lycoming
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1:30 PM
Defiance at Earlham
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2:00 PM
Capital at Otterbein
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2:00 PM
Plymouth State at Westfield State
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Wittenberg at Wooster
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2:00 PM
Anderson at Rose-Hulman
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2:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Bridgewater
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2:00 PM
Waynesburg at Grove City
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2:00 PM
Cortland at Hartwick
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2:00 PM
Centre at Hendrix
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2:00 PM
Eureka at Greenville
Video
2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Iowa Wesleyan
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2:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Lakeland
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Rockford at Benedictine
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2:00 PM
Aurora at Wisconsin Lutheran
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2:00 PM
Nebraska Wesleyan at Luther
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Rhodes at Sewanee
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2:00 PM
Lake Forest at St. Norbert
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2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Gustavus Adolphus
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2:00 PM
Hamline at Carleton
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2:00 PM
St. John's at Bethel
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at UW-Platteville
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Loras
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Hardin-Simmons
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at UW-Eau Claire
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2:00 PM
Beloit at Lawrence
2:00 PM
Cornell at Monmouth
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Coe
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Central
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
McMurry at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Augustana
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Macalester at Ripon
2:00 PM
Grinnell at Illinois College
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Howard Payne at Louisiana College
Audio
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at UW-La Crosse
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Belhaven
Video Live Stats
2:10 PM
Augsburg at St. Thomas
Video Live Stats
3:00 PM
Washington and Jefferson at Thiel
Video Live Stats
3:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Morthland
Video
3:00 PM
St. Scholastica at Martin Luther
3:00 PM
Carthage at Carroll
Video Live Stats
3:00 PM
UW-Stout at UW-Oshkosh
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4:00 PM
Willamette at Puget Sound
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4:00 PM
Whittier at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
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4:00 PM
Pacific at Pacific Lutheran
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4:30 PM
Lewis and Clark at Linfield
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5:00 PM
Framingham State at Mass-Dartmouth
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5:00 PM
Averett at LaGrange
Live Stats
5:00 PM
Whitworth at George Fox
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6:00 PM
Olivet at Hope
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6:00 PM
Bethany at Carnegie Mellon
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6:00 PM
St. Vincent at Case Western Reserve
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6:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Rowan
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6:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Western Connecticut
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7:00 PM
Berry at Washington U.
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7:00 PM
North Park at Millikin
10:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at Chapman
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10:00 PM
La Verne at Cal Lutheran
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10:00 PM
Occidental at Redlands
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Oct. 1: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Hobart
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12:00 PM
Juniata at Johns Hopkins
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
TCNJ at Salisbury
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Westminster (Pa.)
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wabash at Hiram
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Buffalo State at St. John Fisher
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Stevenson at Misericordia
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1:00 PM
Springfield at St. Lawrence
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Huntingdon at N.C. Wesleyan
Video Video Live Stats
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Ohio Northern
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1:30 PM
Franklin at Manchester
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2:00 PM
Wittenberg at Wooster
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2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at UW-Platteville
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. John's at Bethel
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
McMurry at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Hardin-Simmons
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Belhaven
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Central
Video Live Stats Audio
2:10 PM
Augsburg at St. Thomas
Video Live Stats
3:00 PM
UW-Stout at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live Stats Audio Audio
4:30 PM
Lewis and Clark at Linfield
Video Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Rowan
Video Live Stats Audio Audio