|Bulls football retools for drills|
|Line depth focus of practice period|
|Published Thursday, March 20, 2014 6:24 am|
Johnson C. Smith has some rebuilding to do when spring football drills open.
|Herb White's video sports review|
The Golden Bulls, who went 5-5 last year – their third straight season of .500 or better since 1974 – have major holes to fill when practice starts today. The offense, which averaged 30.1 points a game last season, graduates four of five line starters, including all-CIAA right tackle Rico Arellano, a Butler High alum. Three top backups are departing as well, leaving coach Steve Aycock to juggle combinations for now.
What JCSU returns is quarterback Keahn Wallace, who passed for 1,950 yards and 15 touchdowns last season despite nagging injuries. Tailback LeAnder Barney, who gained 627 yards and seven scores on 130 carries last year returns and Kyle Gregg, who gained 196 yards and averaged 4.4 yards a carry in spot duty, will get a chance to move up in the rotation.
Recievers Chris Patterson and Terrell Hutchinson are graduating, as well as tight end Jimmy Drye and backup Joshua Grant.
Patterson led JCSU in catches (54), receiving yards (741) and tied for the most receiving touchdowns (five). The incumbents are Fred Scott, who caught 51 passes for 663 yards and five scores and Avius Capers (Independence High), who added 36 receptions for 363 yards and five TDs.
The defense has more returning experience but the line has been thinned by graduation with six rotation players leaving. The only incumbent starter is all-CIAA defensive end Jovontay Williams, who racked up 12.5 of JCSU’s 44 sacks.
The Golden Bulls will try to upgrade the middle of the line, which struggled to stop opponents in the second half of the season. Junior Jabari Carney is the only returnee among the top four defensive tackles.
The linebacker corps returns two of three starters, but the secondary could be in for changes after allowing 15.1 yards per completion.
The Golden Bulls are set at middle linebacker with Jerel Miller and backup Anthony Allen while sophomore Austin Jacques returns to one outside position, The other is up for grabs with Maurice Gibbs and Darius Wallace out of eligibility.
Deandre Jones and J.P Lott return to the secondary at cornerback as do starting safeties Frantz Charles (strong) and Kerry Hartley (free).
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