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OUTLOOK 2009: Aggie Defense

Posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009 by Mike Wyatt
Looking ahead to the 2009, season, we will first take a look at the Aggie defense. The defense has done more than their share over the last two years since the current coaching staff took over the program. 
In the process, a star linebacker was developed in departed senior, Matt Warner. Warner with his tackling heroics put the Aggies on the football map, earning the College of Dupage transfer back to back Defensive Player of the Year honors for the Independent Collegiate Athletic Association, as well as d2football.com.  Warner was also named an honorable mention DII All American and landed in the German Football League with the Dusseldorf Panthers.
With Warner gone, the first place to assess the 2009 Aggie defense is the linebacker corps. The group appears to be strong with returning 2nd team d2football.com all independents player JC Ramirez back for his senior season. However, Ramirez ended the spring at #2 on the depth chart behind red-shirt freshman Otis Williams from Dallas Bishop Lynch. So, a battle is expected during fall camp to see who draws the starting nod come the season opener at Fort Lewis College. The other inside linebacker position looks to be solid with red-shirt sophomore Jeremy Ashby returning after sitting out last fall. Game experience may be the only thing lacking if Ashby and Williams are the starters come August 29.
Juco transfer Aaron Fryar may also figure into the plans as could sophomore Josh Olmann.
The outside linebacker/strong safety positions should be strong with returning starters Ben Lane, lst team All ICAA selection and Saul Jimenez, both returning seniors. Both are capable of big plays and both are sure tacklers that should be in line for post season honors. Sophomore Jesse Chaffin may also challenge for playing time, as well.
The Aggie defensive line should be strong with returning starters Dyran Wright, William Turnbo and Gus Overstreet back for their junior seasons. Overstreet and Turnbo, both earned 2nd team All Independent honors last season and should be poised for a break-out season in 2009. They’ll get strong support from junior Andrew Walker who may have had the best spring of all the Aggie defenders. The nose guard position looks to be in able hands with returning starter Herbert Grogan back for his sophomore season. Grogan will be challenged by senior Miguel Fonseca-Ureno and juco transfer Kervin Delma.
The secondary boasts returning starter Quintin Green, a sophomore at corner. The other corner spot is up for grabs with red-shirt freshman Michael Guidry battling with juco transfers Micah Oates-Jenkins and Harrison Harris. Sophomore Slade McCarty may have locked up the free safety spot or one of the juco transfers may also figure in, there, as well.
“There is no question we’ll get the best guys on the field. If it means we move the guys around a little, then we’ll do that.” Stated Aggie Defensive Coordinator Marc Wilson.
All in all, the Aggie defense looks to be solid for 2009. If the linebacking corps can handle the loss of all star Matt Warner and the newcomers pick up the system, 2009 could be the best Aggie defense of the current regime.
“Few positions on this team will go unchallenged in fall drills. We have achieved a level of competition for playing time, so it is exciting to look at the possibilities. Of course, it is important that we remain healthy and that we maximize the performance from every player, but we are excited about the prospects.” Added Aggie head football coach Mike Wyatt.

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