The Javelinas took another step forward last year, finishing the regular season with a 10-1 record, and losing a heartbreaker to the defending national champions 35-31 in the second round of the NCAA playoffs. The defense led the way, allowing just 16 points and 252 yards per game (compared to 27.6 points and 359 yards in 2009). The offense, though not spectacular, was efficient, averaging 28.2 points and 395 yards weekly, and controlled the clock with an LSC best 34:25 time of possession.
The Javelinas will have to replace three starters on the line, Trent Perkins, Colby Lowrie (both 2nd team LSC South) and Tim Byerly (HM LSC South). A fourth starter gone is the schools all-time receptions leader, Ryan Lincoln (3-time 2nd LSC South). Two other seniors from last year were lost during the season - WR Delashaun Dean and RB Fred Winborn - and reserve RB Connell Davis will be missed as well.
Returning in 2010 are QB Nate Poppell (2,671 yards and 16 TDs), RB Jonathan Woodson (2nd LSC South, expected to move back to WR), WRs Robert Armstrong, Sherman Batiste (both HM LSC South) and Christian Taylor. Up frount, starters Cory Baumann and Keenan Woods are back, as well as reserves Daniel Sharpe and Chris Hudgins.
The defense loses a ton. DT Dondi Cooks (HM LSC South), DE Michael Talamantez, LB Tressor Baptiste (1st LSC South), safeties DeIra Glover and Corey Robertson (both 1st LSC South), CB Kendrick Matthews (2nd LSC South), rover Mardrick Johnson, and CB Josh Luck. That is 370 tackles, 31 TFL, 6 Ints and 29 passes broken up. Matt Romig, who started the season on fire at DE, was sidelined midseason and his football future is unclear.
Returning are starter NT Johnny Tivao (1st LSC South), DE Roderick Benman, LB Marcus Sanders (2nd LSC South), and CB Derrick Thomas (2nd LSC South). Key returning reserves are DL Darnell Hicks, DBs Dustin Appling, Robert McCormick and Marc Kinney, who was injured in the second week of the season and missed the remaining ten games.
Special Teams -
Seniors last year include K Christian Brom (2nd LSC South), who converted 39-41 PATs and 14-20 FGs. Coming back this year are P Matt Stoll (36.9 punt avg) who should step into the kicking duties as well, punt returner Arron Fisher (26-168) and kick returner Jonathan Woodson (26.9 avg, HM LSC South).
Top 5 signees
RB - Jai Cavness - Top 60 RB by Rivals and Scout, second team All-Greater Houston team
OL - Andrew Shows - 31-4A Lineman of the year, 1st Team All-South Texas
DL - Eddie Kelly - 30 tackles, 9.5 losses for Santa Monica CC
S - Demontrelle Smith - 3 year letter man at The Citadel
DB - Angelo Looney - 2nd All-Mountain Conference
Other top signees
QB - Alex Dean - 1,500 yards passing, 1,100 rushing
QB - Jagger Lopez - 28-5A MVP, SA Express 2nd Team
RB - Randall Toney - Mr. Tennessee finalist
RB - Marquise Cardinal - 1,800 yds rushing
WR - DJ Seay - All Dallas-Fort Worth 3A Team
DL - Jon Cryer - 2nd All Cen-tex
Ath - Tanner Sparks - threw for 1,988 yds and 22 TDs, rushed for 1,093 and 17 TDs
The Javelinas addressed immediate needs at RB, DL, and the secondary. They will be relying on returning reserves to fill the openings at the OL and LB positions. Longer term, they added players across the board to compete for playing time in a couple of years. Grade B+