Saturday, August 22, 2009

2009 Preview - Texas A&M-Commerce

2008 Recap
A&M-Commerce came into last season with very high expectations. Their main skill position players were all Seniors, they were ranked #18 in the nation in the pre-season poll and everything seemed to be heading in the right direction. And then the season started and they never lived up to the hype. They would finish the season 5-5 and once again had troubles on the offensive side of the ball. After yet another .500 season, Head Coach Scotty Conley would be let go but the program was in a much better position than when he took over.

The offense really had trouble moving the ball in 2008 - a recurring problem over the past 4 years. They would finish scoring only 20.2 pts per game (#10 in LSC), 307 total yards per game (#9 in the LSC), 196 passing yds per game (#9 in the LSC) and only 110 rushing yards per game (#8 in the LSC). Once heralded QB Terry Mayo would finish the season 8th in the LSC in passing yards per game (186 yds), and 9th in the LSC in passing efficiency (111.1). The only bright spot in the offense was WR Willie Thornton’s 923 yards and 10 TD’s.

The Lion defense would turn in yet another stellar year. They finished the season ranked #4 in scoring and total defense (23 pts per game and 322 yards per game respectively), #3 in pass defense (217 yards per game), #1 in pass defense efficiency (106.4), #1 in interceptions per game (1.7), and #1 in sacks (38). They were led by DE Ricky Hope, who was voted to multiple All-American teams, and finished with 31 tackles, 11 sacks, and 6 forced fumbles. LB Andrew Gamboa totaled 104 tackles and 3 interceptions.

2009 Outlook
Out with the old

WR Willie Thornton - 1st Team LSC - 923 yards, 10 TD’s
OL Darron Sheppard - 1st Team LSC
DE Ricky Hope - 1st Team LSC - 31 tackles, 11 sacks, 6 FF
LB Andrew Gamboa - 1st Team LSC - 104 tackles, 3 INT
S Courtney Edmond - 1st Team LSC - 65 tackles, 3 INT
QB Terry Mayo - 1st Team LSC - 1,659 passing yards, 10 TD’s
TE Danny Stark - Honorable Mention -
CB Elliot Jones - Honorable Mention - 31 tackles
RB Nabil El-Amin - 641 yards, 4 TD’s
QB Trent Miller - 285 yds 3 TD’s
DB Kurt Rossum - 18 tackles, 4 INT’s
LB Alonzo Meinfield - 38 tackles 1 INT

Welcome Back
OL RJ Brisbon - 1st Team LSC, OL of the Year
DT Willie Green - 1st Team LSC - Pre-Season Defensive POY, 27 tackles, 8 ½ TFL, 4 sacks, 2 FF
LB - Chad Washington - 1st Team LSC - 26 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 1 recovered fumble
P Juan Velasco - 1st Team LSC - 42.3 avg, 11 inside 20,
S Alex Contreras - 2nd Team LSC - 53 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 1 recovered fumble
WR Ernest Quander - 220 receiving yards
WR Taylor Fore - 164 all purpose yards, 4 blocked kicks
CB AJ Billings - 26 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 INT, 4 pass breakups
LB Cory Whitfield - 34 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 INT
RB Marcus Graham - 362 all purpose yards
DE Andree Smith - 18 tackles, 4 sacks
S Shea Rodriguez - 15 tackles
LB Steven DeGrate - 13 tackles, 1 sack
DT Andrew Schwapp - 12 tackles, 3 TFL

In with the new
RB Jetavious Best - West Virginia University transfer, All-State, 1,800 yds and 19 TD’s in Florida 6A
WR Alex Castillo - Freshman, 2 time All-State at Diboll High School
QB Adam Farkes - Transfer, started Fresh/Soph years at DI-FCS Univ. of Maine
QB Reid Herchenbach -Transfer , started at DI-FCS Alabama State, 70% completions, 1,000+ yds, 8 TD’s
FB Derek Lee - Freshman, 2 time All-State, 156 tackles, played in the Missouri East/West All-Star game
RB Jamar Mosley - Transfer from Washburn, 2nd team All-District, 1,400 total yards
TE TJ Nielsen - RS Freshman, 1st Team All-District, 159 receiving yards
WR Jordan Wright - Honorable Mention All-Galveston, 1,240 yards and 8 TD’s
CB Michael Cleveland - Transfer from Kilgore JC, 1st Team All-District
DL Anthony DeGrate - Transfer from Kilgore JC, 80 tackles, 4 ½ sacks
CB Israel Hughes - Transfer from Northwest Mississippi CC, All-State
LB Danny Mason - Freshman, 1st Team All-District, played in Kentucky East/West All-Star game
S Chez Thomas - Transfer from TCU, All-State and All-Area at Kennedale
DE Jacoby Veals-Transfer from Tulsa, at Dallas Lincoln had 114 tackles, 40 tackles for loss, and 15 sacks
OL Connor Wise - Freshman -Honorable Mention All-State, played in Kentucky East/West All-Star game
OL Fagan Davis - Freshman - selected to play in 2 All-Star games in Louisiana, one of the top ranked OL in LA by

All Conference candidates
OL RJ Brisbon
DT Willie Green
LB Chad Washington
P Juan Velasco
S Alex Contreras
RB Jetavious Best
WR Robert Timmons
QB Reid Herchenbach
LB Cory Whitfield

Big Games
vs. ACU - Cotton Bowl
vs. Central Oklahoma
vs. A&M-Kingsville

Best Case Scenario
7-2 - Reid Herchenbach steps in and makes the offense move the way Coach Morriss hopes he will, Jetavious Best lives up to the hype and becomes one of the better RB’s in the LSC, Robert Timmons picks up the offense quickly and shows why he was the #1 ranked WR in the state. The Defense continues it’s stout play from the past few years.

Worst Case Scenario
4-5 - The Lions continue to struggle at the QB position, the offense takes too long to come together and it’s obvious another year is needed to continue to improve. Too many new players at critical offensive positions. The defense takes a step back and doesn’t help the offense any.

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