Defensive Line - The Rams have to replace two starters - an All-American and an honorable mention all-conference selection. Calvin Fance had 14 sacks last year, and Dustin Arthur chipped in 4 of his own. Fance was also fourth on the team in tackles. Cody Smith is the top returnee. The second team all-LSC had 6.5 tackles for losses. Three other returning players had 16 or more tackles. However, of the four top returnees, three are seniors. The Rams were second in the LSC in sacks last year, but 25 of the 39 sacks came from 2009 seniors.
Linebacker - Another position hit by losses - three starters who were first, second and fifth on the team in tackles. Five returning players had 15 or more tackles, but the top two (Brandon Mayse and Steven Duhon) are seniors. The Ram's run defense was one of the LSC's best last year, giving up just 91 yards per game, and 2.8 yards per carry.
Secondary - Two more starters were seniors last year, including the third leading tackler on the team (that makes the top 5 tacklers overall and 6 of the top 8 from last year's team). Three starters do return, as well as four others with 16 or more tackles. Markeith Jones is the sole senior in that group. Last year, the Rams gave up 272 passing yards per game, and had the third worst pass efficiency defense in the league.
QB - Josh Neiswander returns and will likely be the Ram's all time leading career passer, barring injury. Aqura Brown saw limited action last year as Neiswander's backup and Michael Cochran redshirted after being pressed into action as a true freshman in 2008.
RB - The Rams finished sixth in the LSC in rushing and return their top two backs, Michael Simpers and Dwight Pete. Austin Benson also rushed for 156 yards and 5 TDs, while Johnathan Norcott was an honorable mention all-conference selection. Pete and Norcott will both be seniors.
WR - The talented duo of V'keon Lacey and Dakarai Pecikonis is one of the best in the LSC. The second team all-conference picks combined for 109 receptions, for 1,635 yards and 17 TDs. No other receiver had more than 17 catches (the next 5 combined for 74, for 817 yards and only 4TDs). Lacey and Garrett Tidwell will be seniors.
Offensive Line - The line returns three full-time and three part-time starters, with just two seniors in that group. Brian Dickey, an honorable mention all-conference selection last year, is the only loss. The Rams allowed a league low 11 sacks last year despite attempting 399 passes, and the run blocking yielded a 4.1 yards per carry average.
With Josh Neiswander and last year's backup both seniors, it is surprising that no quarterbacks were signed. The Rams brought in some good size at running back with Blake Smith (3,196 career rushing yards) and Austin Otto and WR with James Hurd. Paul Ives is the top offenseve line recruit, ranked as the #155 guard prospect by ESPN, and was a Super 300 pick by Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine. Don't overlook Colby Houston, a second team All-State 4A selection. Defensively, look for Daniel Scott (honorable mention All-State 3A) and Preston Wimberly on the line, with Quinton Crow (first team All-State 4A), Rush Seaver (honorable mention All-State 4A) and Trevor Owens (first team All-State 3A) at linebacker. Ryan Clapsaddle (honorable mention All-State 5A), Lawrence Syon, Dakota Abernathy and Alex James top the list for the secondary. Dominique McCoy and B. J. Davis were recruited as Athletes.
LSC Ranking - 12
Overall Grade - B-
The Rams brought in some good looking prospects, especially on defense. With seniors at several of the skill positions on offense, we expected to see a quarterback or two signed, as well as some speedy backs.