Friday, July 29, 2011

Troy's Class of 2007

Getting this list of the list - a few of these guys are still around as 5th year seniors. Let's see how they did in their Trojan careers, provided they made it. This will be the last one I do.

*Brandon Boudreaux (DE - Auburn, Ala.) - Grayshirt, now a senior. Strongest player on the team, possibly in the country, but hasn't been able to land a starting spot. Maybe this is the year.

*Kennard Burton (WR - Garden City CC) - Solid 2-year player, started in 2008 and was team's best outside receiver

*Mark Cogburn (OL - College of the Sequoyas) - JUCO coach didn't tell Troy coaches he had a serious knee injury history. After a couple of weeks of spring ball in 2007, he was given a medical scholarship after injuring the knee again.

*Jacob Creech (OL - Boaz, Ala.) - Grayshirt, now a junior slated to start at right guard. Coming off shoulder surgery.

*Tyrell Curtis (OL - Snow College) - Was here for 3 years, worked hard, good teammate, but didn't get into the rotation.

*Jeffrey Daniels (LB - Brantley, Ala.) - DNQ

*Dion Gales (DE - Gulf Coast C.C.) - I thought he was a very good player for his 2 years. A ridiculous celebration penalty called on him was the beginning of the end for Troy in that loss in '08 at LSU. Now with the Kansas City Chiefs.

*Will Goggans (P - Coffee County, Ga.) - Entering his fourth year as Troy's starting punter

*Donnell Golden (LB - Quitman, Ga.) - Played a lot in his career, but left the team midway through 2010 for personal reasons. Good guy, but had a lot go wrong for him off the field that he couldn't control.

*Micah Grimes (OL - Fort Meade, Fla.) - Graduated in 3 years, now a web producer for a TV station in St. Petersburg, Fla.

*Jamie Hampton (QB - Cedar Bluff, Ala.) - Been through 2 serious injuries in his career, but poised for his backup QB role in his senior season.

*DuJuan Harris (RB - Brooksville, Fla.) - Solid four-year player that was at his best as a sophomore, now on a pro squad.

*Fred Hawkins (RB - Luverne, Ala.) - DNQ

*Richie Henderson (WR - Daphne, Ala.) - Was supposed to be a grayshirt, but decided not to play football

*Jerrel Jernigan (ATH - Eufaula, Ala.) - One of the best players to ever wear a Troy jersey. Now with the NY Giants

*Stanley Jones (RB - Dothan) - Left the team after a season after heart wasn't in it anymore. Good kid, heck of a player at local Houston Academy

*Xavier Lamb (LB - Tallahassee, Fla.) - Entering his 2nd year as the starting middle linebacker

*David McDowell (LB - Butler County CC) - Started off and on for a couple of years, which sandwiched a redshirt year. Solid player for the Trojans.

*Ricky McGee (RB - Tallahassee, Fla.) - DNQ

*KeJuan Phillips (DB - Waycross, Ga.) - Grayshirt, had his moments but was ineligible in 2009 and out for good because of grades after the spring.

*Wes Potter (OL - Snow College) - Started in 2008, backup in 2009

*Lennie Richardson (LB - Ashburn, Ga.) - Was here for a year. Not quite sure what happened to him after that.

*Windham Rotunda (OL - College of the Sequoyas) - Was here for a year or so, never played, but he's now a professional wrestler

*Rashad Roussell (DL - Jones County CC) - Redshirted, then a contributor over his last 2 years, sidelined much of his last year after an offseason auto accident.

*Dion Small (OL - Georgia Military CC) - 2-year all-conference player at right tackle, on the Sun Belt all-decade team

*Michael Taylor (K - Pensacola, Fla.) - Entering his 3rd year as starting placekicker and 4th year as starting kickoff guy

*Stacey Williams (DB - Douglas, Ga.) - DNQ

*Jeremiah Wright (OL - Fort Valley, Ga.) - DNQ

*Eugene Kinlaw (DL - Homerville, Ga.) - DNQ, but re-signed and played at Troy in 2008

*Barry Stokes (DL - Soperton, Ga.) - DNQ

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Troy's 2008 signing class

***Preloaded blog post. Let's see where these guys are today.

2008 Troy University Football Signing Class
Mario Addison DE - Redshirt, then a productive player, should be on an NFL roster by now
Chris Anderson RB - Had to go to JUCO for a year, but now a junior and will have a big role at running back this year.
Jimmie Arnold OL - Grayshirt, redshirt, now a sophomore looking to get in OL rotation at guard.
Talris Brown ATH - Did not qualify
Jorrick Calvin DB - Started as a JUCO transfer, ineligible his SR year, still drafted and now with the Philadelphia Eagles
Kanorris Davis LB - Projected as a starter for his junior season
Tony Davis DL - Started some last year, projected as a starting DT this year
DeAndre Dorn DT - Did not qualify
Gavin Ellis WR - Turned into a tight end, battling for time as a sophomore
Calvin Francois DT - Did not qualify
Tebiarus Gill WR - Redshirt, then productive 2-year starter at WR
Maurice Greer RB - Backup running back for two years
Stoney Jackson DE - Did not qualify
Tim Lamb DT - Xavier's older brother, was here for a year but didn't have the grades to come back.
Kedric Manning DB - Here for 2 years, I think, but barely ever played
Tony Mitchell RB - T.J. Mitchell is now a junior RB in a crowded backfield
Darius Morgan WR - Did not qualify
Chigozie Nwankwo DT - I think he's still around the program, but not on the roster
Dan Parker QB - Here for 2 years, transferred to Texas Southern where he redshirted last year
Felton Payton WR - Grayshirt, redshirt, now in line for more snaps as a sophomore
Chris Perry ATH - Did not qualify
Charles Reeves WR - Heck of a player, but ineligible this year. Could get a 5th year back if he passes enough hours at a community college this fall
Michael Ricks* S - Did not qualify
DeMarcus Robertson DB - Came the next spring, but academically ineligible after that.
Corey Robinson QB - Grayshirted, redshirted, earned starting QB spot last fall
James Searcy DE - Here for 2 years then dismissed
Daniel Sheffield S - Two-year starter at linebacker, graduated last year
Jacoby Thomas LB - Now a junior, had his moments, in a crowded LB rotation
Johnny Thompson LB - Now a grayshirt sophomore, has potential
Kyle Wilborn OL - Started since his redshirt freshman year
Terrence Williams LB - Did not qualif
Bryan Willis DB - Started as a redshirt freshman, lost his spot last year, competing for time in the secondary

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Troy's 2009 signing class

***This is a pre-loaded blog post since I am on furlough this week. Check for a Q and A with Troy punter Will Goggans. If the lockout has ended by now and some Troy rookies get free-agent deals, I'll try to update it over the weekend.

Here is the 2009 signing class. Some of these guys enrolled in time for spring practice that year.

**Jason Bruce, WR, Copiah-Lincoln, Miss., - Came on toward end of junior season, had a very good senior season.
**James Brown, OT, SW Mississippi CC - Headed for senior season and third straight year as Troy's starting left tackle, has an NFL future
**Tyler Graves, OT, Pearl River Mississippi CC - Solid as he started his senior year.
**Ray Carter, OT, Garden City CC - Was in Troy in spring of '09, had a chance to be a good one, but had to leave school for family reasons. He is from Philadelphia, Pa. Not sure what ever happened to him.
**Jay Stansberry, OT, Bremen, Ga. - Was supposed to be a starter in the first game, but I'm not sure he's even played yet because of injuries.
**Cody Jenkins, OT, Beauregard, Ala. - Will be a redshirt sophomore, challenging for a rotation spot.
**Jeramy Simmons, OL, Ashland, Ala. - Did not qualify
**Nate Newland, OT, Hutchinson, Kan. CC - Started as a senior at right tackle last year, had a solid season.
**Dezman Ivory, ATH, Birmingham, Ala. - Did not qualify
**Greg Pratt, RB, Naples, Fla. - Redshirted in '09, transferred to Liberty. Had two carries and is now listed as WR.
**Shawn Southward, RB, Florence, Ala. - 2009 Freshman of the Year in the league. Could top 1,000 yards this year if he gets the carries.
**Sam Haskins, WR, Dinwiddie, Va. - Grayshirt in 09, played sparingly in 2010 but should see a big bump in playing time this fall.
**Anthony Williams, WR, Tampa, Fla. - Left the team after the 2010 season, transferred to South Dakota. Had 3 receptions in 2010.
**Dominique Bowman, WR, Sulligent, Ala. - Did not qualify
**Jamel Johnson, WR, Montgomery, Ala. - Grayshirt in '09, big role as a freshman, was going to start this year but got academically ineligible and will play this fall at Holmes (Miss.), with the plan of coming back next year.

**Vinson Bass, DT, Ellenwood, Ga. - Did not qualify
**Emmanuel Dudley, DT, Northeast Miss., CC - Got a medical redshirt in '09, started some last year, should start this year at DT but missed spring with ankle surgery.
**Riley Flowers, DT, Jones County Miss. CC - Played a little in '09, calf injuries hindered him from being better, but was solid last year in the DT rotation.
**Antonio Harper, DE, Hargrave Military - Was a 4-star recruit, but redshirted in 2009 and was dismissed after that season.
**Demarcus Robertson, DB, Garden City, CC - 2008 resign, was here in the spring of 2009 but didn't come back to the team, I think because of grades.
**Eugene Kinlaw, DT, Hutchinson, Kan. CC - Starter in 2009, didn't come back in 2010.
**Jonathan Massaquoi, DE, Butler County CC - Redshirted in '09, emerged as a star last year. One of the top defensive ends in the country.
**Shermane Teart, DE, Orlando, Fla. - Redshirted in '09, played a little last year, challenging for a spot in the DT rotation.
**Aaron Williams, DT, Leroy, Ala. - Redshirted in '09, barely played last year because of injuries but coaches have high hopes for him.
**John Clark, DE, Oxford, Ala. - Sat out '09 as a non-qualifier, but made his grades. Challenging for time in the DT rotation.
**Anthony Payne, DL, Leroy, Ala. - Did not qualify, re-signed from JUCO in '11, but didn't qualify from there.
**Sergio Perez, DB, Tampa, Fla. - Redshirted in 2009, dismissed after that year.
**Mike Robinson, DB, Fairfield, Ala. - Redshirted in '09 but was dismissed
**Caleb Massey, DB, Sulligent, Ala. - Redshirted in '09, played a good bit last year, but was dismissed/left team this spring and is now at North Alabama.
**Tony Gray, DB, Enterprise, Ala. - Did not qualify
**Dontavious Pyron, DT, Tampa, Fla. - Did not qualify
**Daymond Brinson, DE, St. Petersburg, Fla. - Did not qualify
**Barry Valcin, DB, Coffeyville (Kan.) CC - Started at corner in 09, was supposed to start at safety in 2010 before a season-ending ankle injury before first game. Supposed to be fully healthy this fall and will challenge for a starting spot.
**Willard Ross, DB, Mississippi Delta CC - Reserve in '09, started last season. Played through some injuries, including a torn pectoral muscle.
**Bradley Wallace, DB, Dwyer, Fla. - Was at Troy for a week or so that fall, but left and was never heard from again. He was pretty highly thought of as a football player, though.

***Troy's grayshirts that year included Corey Robinson, Gavin Ellis, Felton Payton, Jimbo Arnold and Johnny Thompson. Trojans picked up Sidell Corley, a transfer from LSU who is battling for a starting DT spot his senior season this fall.

Monday, July 25, 2011

2010 Signing Class

**Pre-loaded blog post

Here is the 2010 signing class and what their roles related to the 2011 Troy football team will be

High School
Luke Barnes
(QB, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) - Grayshirted after ACL tear in fall of 2009, competing for No. 3 spot this fall assuming Jamie Hampton is fully healthy
Mike Smith (RB, Tallassee, Ala.) - Did not qualify
B.J. Chitty (WR, Dothan-Northview) - Redshirted in '10, should play a lot this fall
Khary Franklin (WR/ATH, Valdosta, Ga.) - Played sparingly last year, competing for a spot as a kick returner and in the rotation at H-WR
Corey Shelton (WR, Prattville, Ala.) - Did not qualify
Dalton Bennett (OL, Marianna, Fla.) - Grayshirted in '10 after hand surgery, will challenge for a reserve spot this fall, could redshirt
Terrence Jones (OL, Huntsville, Ala.) - Redshirted last year, projected starter at right tackle headed into fall camp
Chris Hawkins (OL, Florence, Ala.) - Did not qualify
Mark Beard, (OL, Minor, Ala.) - Did not qualify
Jeron Boykin (DL, Thomaston, Ala.) - Did not qualify
Tommy Stephens (DL, Marianna, Fla.) - Redshirted last year, challenging for a spot in the rotation as a defensive tackle
Adrian Mack (DE, Waycross, Ga.) - Did not qualify
Jonathan Robertson (DE, Cullman, Ala.) - Redshirted last year, I believe he's still at defensive end, but challenging for a spot in the DL rotation
Brach Bessant, (LB, Lake City, Fla.) - Redshirted last year, believe he's the top backup at MLB headed into fall camp
Joe Lofton, (DB, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) - Grayshirt in '10, enrolled in spring, challenging for reserve spot in secondary or on special teams
Fidel Montgomery, (DB, Marianna, Fla.) - Did not qualify
Chris Pickett. (DB, Crestview, Fla.) - Started for most of the year at corner, missed 4 games with an ankle injury, came back to play in New Orleans Bowl
Camren Hudson (DB, Tallahassee, Fla.) - Played last year, challenging for a starting safety spot
Charles Hayes (DB, Thomasville, Ga.) - Did not qualify
Terrence Evans (ATH, Bristol, Fla.) - Did not qualify
Dionte Ponder (DB, Ocala, Fla.) - Redshirted last year, challenging for a rotation spot at cornerback
Ethan Davis (DB, Mosley, Fla.) - Enrolled at Troy as a non-qualifier, paid his own way. If he made his grades, he'll be able to join the team as a scholarship player this fall
DeMarkus Underwood (OL, Northeast MS CC) - Redshirted, challenging for spot at right tackle
Stoney Jackson (OL, Garden City, KS CC) - Did not qualify
LaDarrius Madden (DB, Northeast MS CC) - Started most of the year at safety, looking to hold on to that spot
Greg Jenkins, (QB, Mississippi Gulf Coast CC) - Fell to No. 3 in QB battle, eventually left the team in midseason and is now challenging for starting spot at Alabama State
Chris Anderson (RB, Hutchinson, KS CC) - Was a backup RB, but played a big role. Challenging for spot at H-WR, also still playing some RB. Now a junior.
Brett Moncrief, (WR, Mississippi Gulf Coast CC) - If he's healthy, he's a starting Z-WR for his senior year. But he broke his foot before spring ball and had a setback that led to surgery earlier this summer.
Jarred Fleming, (OL, East Central MS CC) - Redshirted last year after a broken leg. I'm thinking he's the top backup at left tackle, but could challenge somewhere on the right side.
Jimmie Anderson (DB, Kilgore, TX JC) - Emerged as a starter, could be one of the top cornerbacks in the conference for his senior year.

Eric Thomas (WR, Shreveport, La.) - Signed in April, expected to be a starter and big contributor as a sophomore this year.
Mark Wilson (LB, Tallahassee, Fla.) - Signed in the summer, redshirted in 2010, but was academically ineligible after a year and is no longer with the program.
John Robles (DE) - Expected to start at defensive end as a senior this year.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

2011 signing class

UPDATE - I will be on furlough and not able to do work Mon-Fri. However, I have pre-loaded blog posts coming about the 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007 signing classes coming up. We'll find out where these guys are and what their role with Troy's 2011 team will be.

*Corey Johnson
(WR) - Slated to start at H-WR, could be punt/kick returner
*Andrew Phillips (OL) - Could get in the mix for starting center or guard spot with a strong fall camp
*Cody Woodiel (OL) - Could get in the mix for a starting spot somewhere on the line with a strong fall camp
*Tony Gillespie (DL) - Big defensive tackle should play some
*Brynden Trawick (S) - Slated to start at one safety spot
*Angelo Hadley (S) - Sophomore transfer will be in mix, could even start at other safety spot.
*Zach Johnson - True freshman OL enrolled early, challenging for spot at right guard.

***Bear in mind that some of these guys here for the summer could still grayshirt this fall and become full-time in January, starting their eligibility then

*Terron Bell (LB) - Told me in February he'd grayshirt. But he's here this summer.
*Montrell Conner (RB) - JUCO transfer sophomore is here this summer and poised for a role.
*Xavian Evans (DE) - JUCO transfer is here, will be in the mix for playing time
*Robert Freeman (OL) - Headed to junior college
*Chris Davis (CB) - Here this summer, my guess is redshirt because Troy is deep with corners
*Bryan Holmes (WR) - Here this summer, very fast guy, we'll see if he cracks the rotation
*D.J. Johnson (DT) - Big, strong DL who carries his weight well. I think he's got a bright future, but not sure how much or if he'll play this year. He is on campus.
*D.J. Jones (CB) - JUCO transfer sophomore who started his career at Wake Forest is on campus, should at least be a special teams guy since he's used a redshirt.
*Ryan Kay (K/P) - On campus, certain redshirt unless Taylor or Goggans get hurt early.
*Deon Lee (DE) - On campus, my guess is redshirt to get bigger and stronger
*Dre'Shon McGaster (DE) - Headed for junior college
*Hollis Moore (WR) - JUCO transfer is here, expected to contribute
*Anthony Payne (DT) - Staying another year in JUCO, didn't qualify
*Jeremy Pierce (OT) - Not on campus yet, still waiting to see if he makes it
*Tyler Roberts (LB) - On campus, my guess is redshirt since Troy is deep here
*Marty Stadom (DE) - JUCO transfer expected to be here when camp starts
*Dallas Tidwell (QB) - On campus, I'd guess redshirt to get bigger and stronger
*Bartavis Whigham (OL) - On campus, I'd guess redshirt as most true freshman OL need a redshirt
*Daron White (RB) - On campus, I'd guess redshirt since Troy is deep here
*Chandler Worthy (WR) - On campus, should play H-WR, hard to not make comparisons to Jernigan
*David Whitmore (DB) - JUCO transfer expected to be here for start of fall camp and has a chance to contribute immediately

Friday, July 22, 2011

Catching up with Kanorris Davis

I was able to talk to three Troy football players last week for Question and Answers to run in the paper.

One was linebacker Kanorris Davis, and you can read what he had to say HERE.

The video where he jumped over Will Goggans is below.

OF NOTE, Troy is having prospect camps today and tomorrow. Not sure if any kids will commit right after, but I'd expect a few in the next month or so before the season starts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday links/info

Today, I wrote mostly on what was said yesterday during Troy's turn at Sun Belt media days, focusing on Jonathan Massaquoi, Troy's defense bouncing back and the loss to FIU last year.

You can read it HERE.

You're starting to see more game times come out. Today, the SEC announced Troy's Sept. 17 game at Arkansas will be on CSS at 6:30 p.m.

Per, here are other game times, which are still subject to change if TV (Sun Belt Network) picks them up late in the year.

All times CST

Sept. 3 at Clemson, 2:30 p.m.,
Sept. 17, at Arkansas, 6:30 p.m., CSS
Sept. 24, Middle Tennessee, 3:30 p.m., Sun Belt Network
Oct. 1, UAB, TBA
Oct. 8, at UL-Lafayette, TBA
Oct. 15, UL-Monroe, TBA (will be on Sun Belt Network, probably at night)
Oct. 25, at FIU, 7 p.m., ESPN2
Nov. 5, at Navy, 2:30 p.m., CBS College
Nov. 12, North Texas, TBA
Nov. 19, Florida Atlantic, TBA
Nov. 26, at Western Kentucky, Noon
Dec. 3, at Arkansas State

The last 4 weekends are Sun Belt Network wild card weekends, so those could be picked up for the regional TV package.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday links

With the Sun Belt Media Days starting yesterday and the polls coming out, there are plenty of links around the league to read.

HERE is what I wrote about Troy and a few other teams.

Coach Larry Blakeney didn't say where he picked Troy, but he always picks them low.

Links from other papers:

North Texas hopes to overcome expectations.

ULM has high hopes after bringing back a bunch of starters from a 5-7 team that narrowly missed bowl eligibility.

Western Kentucky is looking to become more balanced offensively this year.

FIU was picked to win the league.

Middle Tennessee is almost a no-name team.

Media Days continues today, with Troy going at 11:30 and bowl executives/commissioner Wright Waters following. I'll have some updates around then.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Preseason all-Sun Belt team; Troy picked 2nd

From the Sun Belt just now. No real surprise, as FIU was the preseason pick to win the league, slightly over Troy. I guess the big surprise really was WKU picking up a first-place vote, though I think the Tops are poised for a decent jump in the standings this year.

Jonathan Massaquoi was named Defensive Player of the Year in the preseason. Troy had four all-Sun Belt preseason picks.

Media Days starts today, though Troy doesn't go until tomorrow. I have to cover some American Legion Baseball state championship this morning in Troy, so I'm not sure how much I will be able to call in and listen, and I know I won't be able to blog it, but will post some links from other media outlets later. ULM, FIU, WKU, MTSU and North Texas are on tap today.

Team Points
1. FIU 75 (5)
2. Troy 66 (2)
T-3. Middle Tennessee 54
T-3. Louisiana-Monroe 54
5. Arkansas State 49 (1)
6. North Texas 33
7. WKU 28 (1)
8. Louisiana-Lafayette 26
9. Florida Atlantic 20

Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Offense
Corey Robinson (Troy, So., QB)
Lance Dunbar (NT, Sr., RB)
Bobby Rainey (WKU, Sr., RB)
Dwayne Frampton (ASU, Sr., WR)
T.Y. Hilton (FIU, Sr., WR)
Luther Ambrose (ULM, Sr., WR)
Ladarius Green (ULL, Sr., TE)
Tom Castilaw (ASU, Sr. OL)
Caylin Hauptmann (FIU, Jr., OL)
Ryan McCaul (ULM, Sr., OL)
Matt Tomlinson (NT, Sr., OL)
James Brown (Troy, Sr., OL)
Wes Jeffries (WKU, Sr., OL)

Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Defense
Dorvus Woods (ASU, Sr., DL)
Tourek Williams (FIU, Jr., DL)
Ken Dorsey (ULM, Sr., DL)
Jonathan Massaquoi (Troy, Jr., DL)
Demario Davis (ASU, Sr., LB)
Winston Fraser (FIU, Jr., LB)
Xavier Lamb (Troy, Sr., LB)
Kelcie McCray (ASU, Sr., DB)
Jonathan Cyprien (FIU, Jr., DB)
Marcus Bartels, FAU, Sr., DB)
Darius Prelow (ULM, Sr., DB)

Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Special Teams
Alan Gendreau (MT, Sr., Kicker)
Mickey Groody (FAU, Sr., Punter)
T.Y. Hilton (FIU, Sr., Return Specialist)

Co-Preseason Offensive Players of the Year
T.Y. Hilton (FIU, Sr., WR)
Lance Dunbar (NT, Sr., RB)

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Jonathan Massaquoi (Troy, Jr., DL)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

One player, each position, watch them, Part II

Like the offense post below, let's look at some important guys on defense and special teams this year. Not exactly the superstars or returning starters, but the guys who will play a lot and be counted upon who may not have had such big roles in the past.

DEFENSIVE LINE - Emmanuel Dudley. The fifth-year senior missed all of spring after ankle surgery, but he's one of the biggest and most experienced interior defensive lineman. He's going to be counted on to plug the middle as Troy doesn't have that proven (yet) big-time nose tackle who commands attention of more than one blocker. Maybe that guy is Dudley.

LINEBACKER - Brannon Bryan. When he was inserted into the lineup for the last four games, Troy was outstanding defensively in the last three of them. Bryan, now a fourth-year junior, should know the defense out of the back of his head. Think Bear Woods with much less hair. We'll see if he's a similar playmaker to Woods for a full season.

DEFENSIVE BACK - Brynden Trawick. We've been touting the junior college transfer after watching him make some big plays in spring. He's a big guy for a safety and has NFL size. I'm betting he has NFL skill, too, but we'll find out.

SPECIAL TEAMS - Justin Albert. Troy lost its key return men from a year ago and is looking for someone to step up here. Enter Albert, who sat out last year as a walk-on transfer from Auburn. He was a star at Prattville High but suffered a serious knee injury late in his high school career. We'll see if he's ready for a big role. Lots of people are confident in him.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

One player, each position, watch them, Part I

Figured I'd pick one player from each position whom I feel will be of importance. Sure, the whole team is important, but these aren't in fact the superstars, but Troy needs these guys to stay healthy and play well enough for the Trojans to have a successful season.

Today we'll look at the offense.

QUARTERBACK - Jamie Hampton - The 5th year senior won't push Corey Robinson for the starting job, though he's good enough to put up big numbers if Robinson were to miss any time. But if Hampton has more unfortunate injury luck, or isn't completely healthy, then Troy's 2nd, 3rd and 4th string quarterbacks will all be true freshmen. Luke Barnes and K.D. Edenfield were here during the spring, and Dallas Tidwell will be on the roster this fall. That's a lot to worry about if Robinson were to get hurt, unless Hampton is back to 100 percent after his broken leg.

RUNNING BACK - Montrell Conner - Not saying this guy has to be a stud from the get-go, but he's the big beast of a running back that Shawn Southward, Chris Anderson and T.J. Mitchell aren't - as in, he's around 25 pounds heavier than all of them. Remember when Troy badly struggled in a loss at ULM? A lot of it had to do with DuJuan Harris, last year's bigger, stronger back, missing the game due to injury. I think Troy's RB group will be fine regardless, but if Conner is at a high level from the midpoint on, they could be really good.

WIDE RECEIVER - Eric Thomas. The sophomore, 6-3, 200-pound receiver had his moments as a true freshman, but was eased in to his role. This year, he'll have to step up big-time as he's one of the few wideouts with game experience. He caught 9 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown, and it was an impressive catch in traffic at North Texas. Robinson said in our sit-down on Wednesday that he expected big things from Thomas. I'm buying the hype.

OFFENSIVE LINE - Jacob Creech - The junior is returning from a torn labrum that required surgery and sidelined him for the last 9 games of last year and the spring. He had started at left guard, and is the leading candidate to start at right guard. His experience is key as the Trojans are probably starting a redshirt freshman at right tackle (Terrence Jones). Creech will be the guy that has to make sure Jones limits the rookie mistakes early. If Creech's shoulder is still giving him problems, the Trojans will likely start a newcomer at right guard.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Catching up with Corey Robinson

Since practice is about 4 weeks ago (scheduled to begin on Thursday Aug. 4), figured it was time to start talking to current players.

HERE is a long Q and A with quarterback Corey Robinson that appeared in Friday's Dothan Eagle.

Over the next two weeks in the paper, I'll have Q and As with linebacker Kanorris Davis and punter Will Goggans.

FRIDAY MORNING EDIT - Robinson was named to the Davey O'Brien Award Watch list, which goes to the country's top quarterback.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday baseball notes

***Troy head coach Bobby Pierce was named South Central Region Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association. You can read more HERE. Pierce and his staff are in Dothan today for a youth baseball camp.

***Enterprise High School left-handed pitcher Levi Tate recently committed to Troy. Tate has been the ace of the Enterprise (Class 6A) staff the past two years and he has been a key pitcher for Dothan Post 12 in the summer. Tate will have a chance to pitch early in 2013, I do believe. He's a pretty polished product.

***The AAA All-Star game is tonight in Salt Lake City at 8 p.m. CST. Former Trojan Clint Robinson is starting as the designated hitter and batting fifth for the Pacific Coast League.

Robinson is hitting .322 with 17 HR and 56 RBI for the Omaha Storm Chasers, the AAA affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.

The game is televised by the MLB Network.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Catching up with Doug Mims

It's always good for me to write about former Trojan athletes who played before I got here. Usually, this happens each year when the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame stories start coming around. A couple of years back, it was Sim Byrd and Danny Grant.

This year, it was Doug Mims, a cornerback on the 1987 national championship team who came up with some big plays. Now an accountant in Dothan, Mims will be inducted into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday with nine others.

HERE is the story.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A look inside Trojan Arena

Charles Ingram, the Vice-President of Whaley Construction and the construction manager for the new Trojan Arena, was nice enough to give a media tour of the construction so far.

Well, as soon as we got there, it started to rain. The weather has been good to the crew for the most part, but not so much today. However, the guys looked to be working pretty hard even through the rain. If it rains in the morning, it's a lost day, Ingram said. If it's in the afternoon, which Monday's rainfall was, then the crew still got a lot of work done earlier in the day.

Here are some facts that you may or may not know
**It will host the offices for track, volleyball and, of course, men's and women's basketball.
**The south end will be the main entrance, and the north end some sort of VIP entrance
**There will be scoreboards on both ends of the arena, measuring 16X48, with a TV screen, stats, etc.
**There will be a concourse level and event level, and all seats will be accessed via the concourse level. So, it's like you're walking into a bowl.
**The basketball team will have a practice court, which you'll see in the photos.
**There will be a food court area.
**The seating capacity will be 5,600 for games.
**The seats on the north end are retractable so they can put a stage for graduation.
**They are on pace for an opening for the 2012-13 basketball season, but "The chancellor doesn't want this facility to be open until it's ready to be open. He doesn't want to do anything partial," Ingram said.
**The golf pro shop, which Ingram built in 1977, was recently torn down by Ingram and his crew. That area will be a drop-off point which will have a sidewalk to the arena.
**There's a press room and a press dining room. The press was well-considered in this facility, which is a good thing (and something WKU and FIU football ignored in their recent upgrades).

BELOW are some generic photos. You'll see better camera action on the 3 TV stations present (WSFA, WTVY, TrojanVision), the Troy Messenger and the Troy athletics site, but my Droid X has a pretty good camera for a phone.

SEATS - The top left one won't be used. It was tossed out. The top right (black) is for suites. The other black seat is for the team benches. The other red seat is what will be used throughout the arena, except in the retractable seats.

THIS will be the practice gym

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Breakout player candidates

I asked on twitter and facebook, and some of you responded. Now, let's look at some guys who have a chance to break out this year. My definition of a breakout player is someone that's been at Troy for at least a year but hasn't done much until a season where they rack up the stats. Some candidates last year include Xavier Lamb, Jason Bruce and even Corey Robinson.

Here's who you suggested...

***Jimmie Anderson - I'd say he was good enough last year, especially late in the year, to avoid being labeled a breakout player, but he is poised for a big senior season as a full-time starter at cornerback.

***Corey Johnson - A good pick to have a good year a wide receiver, but this is his first year in the system. He'll be expected to do a lot as a JUCO transfer after having a good spring.

***Jamie Hampton - If he's healthy, I'd expect him to resume his wildcat QB duties and have a few passing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns. He probably wouldn't have the stats to be labeled a breakout player unless Robinson got hurt and Hampton started some games.

***D.J. Taylor - I've hinted at him before having a big year as a junior RB. He's a great football player and he'll run for some yards, catch some passes and make some key blocks.

***Sidell Corley - If the big defensive tackle can stay healthy, he's got a chance to have a solid senior season.

***Brannon Bryan - Another good pick, as Bryan became a starting linebacker for the last four games and the defense really picked up in the last three. No doubt he has a chance to rack up a lot of tackles.

***Chris Anderson - The junior running back/wide receiver will be heavily involved in the offense. I think right now he's more of a backup RB/WR, but he'll make some big plays.

***T.J. Mitchell - The junior running back is a solid player and has done well in limited chances or late in games (think of a long run against MTSU in the blowout win late), but he's in a crowded situation with other running backs in the same classification as him.

MY PICK - And give this some thought. What about wideout Felton Payton? He's waited a long time as he was a grayshirt, redshirt (with a knee injury in there somewhere) and last year played sparingly but didn't catch a pass as he was behind TeBiarus Gill and Chip Reeves. He's projected to start at X-WR this year and if he can maintain that spot during fall camp, I think he's got a chance to catch 40-plus balls.

There are several receivers looking for a big jump in stats, most notably Brett Moncrief and Eric Thomas. Not much experience returns, but someone's got to catch all those passes.

And at linebacker, a full season of Kanorris Davis playing the bulk of the snaps is downright scary for opponents, provided he stays healthy.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday's story on Clint Robinson

Former Trojan first baseman Clint Robinson has been a machine this year for the AAA Omaha Storm Chasers. He got rewarded for his season so far with a trip to the AAA All-Star game, where he'll start at DH for the Pacific Coast League.

The game is on Wednesday night, at 8 p.m. CST. If you have the MLB Network, it will be televised live.

Clint was nice enough to chat with me for a few minutes before his game Friday in Oklahoma City.

HERE is the story in today's paper.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Update on some more watch lists

Two lists came out today.

The Outland Trophy, for the nation's top interior lineman, has Troy left tackle James Brown on it.

The list is HERE.

Defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi was named to the Nagurski Trophy watch list. That list is HERE.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Massaquoi named to Bednarik list

The watch list for college football awards have started rolling out this week. Defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi is one of 65 players on the national list for the Bednarik Award, which goes to the defensive player of the year in college football.

I'd be shocked if he's not the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year on the preseason ballots, and he's got a great chance to win that award on the field this year.

You can view the entire list HERE.

Massaquoi, a junior, is the only Sun Belt player on the list.

Here is a list on when the watch lists come out. Massaquoi could find his way on a few more watch lists.

Tues., July 5
· Maxwell Award (Presented to the nation's most outstanding all-around player by the Maxwell Football Club)
· Bednarik Award (Presented to the nation's most outstanding defensive player by the Maxwell Football Club)

Wed., July 6
· Biletnikoff Award (Presented to the nation's most outstanding wide receiver by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation)
· Mackey Award (Presented to the nation's most outstanding tight end by the Nassau Co. Sports Commission)

Thurs., July 7
· Lou Groza Award (Presented to the nation's most outstanding place-kicker by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission)
· Ray Guy Award (Presented to the nation's most outstanding punter by the Augusta [Ga.] Sports Council)

Fri., July 8
· Bronko Nagurski Trophy (Presented to the nation's most outstanding defensive player by the Charlotte Touchdown Club)
· Outland Trophy (Presented to the nation's most outstanding interior lineman by the FWAA)

Mon., July 11
· Jim Thorpe Award (Presented to the nation's most outstanding defensive back by the Jim Thorpe Association)

Tues., July 12
· Rotary Lombardi Award (Presented to the nation's most outstanding lineman by the Rotary Club of Houston)

Wed., July 13
· Rimington Trophy (Presented to the nation's most outstanding center by the Boomer Esiason Foundation)

Thurs., July 14

· Butkus Award (Presented to the nation's most outstanding linebacker by the Butkus Foundation)

Fri., July 15

· Davey O'Brien Award (Presented to the nation's most outstanding quarterback by the Davey O'Brien Foundation)
· Doak Walker Award (Presented to the nation's most outstanding running back by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum).

Mon., July 18

· Walter Camp Award (Presented to the nation's most outstanding defensive player by the Walter Camp Football Foundation)


Sun Belt Media Days are July 18-19, a Monday-Tuesday. For the third straight year, they will be done through a teleconference. The preseason all-conference team will be released that Monday, July 18, around 8 a.m.

The schedule, as of now, is as follows. It's usually a coach and a player.

Monday, July 18
9:55 a.m. – Introduction and Welcome
10:00 a.m. – Todd Berry, Louisiana-Monroe
10:30 a.m. – Mario Cristobal, FIU
11:00 a.m. – Head Coach Rick Stockstill
11:30 a.m. – Willie Taggart, WKU
12:00 p.m. – Dan McCarney, North Texas

Tuesday, July 19
9:55 a.m. – Introduction and Welcome
10:00 a.m. – Hugh Freeze, Arkansas State
10:30 a.m. – Mark Hudspeth, Louisiana-Lafayette
11:00 a.m. – Howard Schnellenberger, Florida Atlantic
11:30 a.m. – Larry Blakeney, Troy
12:00 p.m. – Jerry Silverstein, President - Bowl and Billy Ferrante, Executive Director - R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
12:10 p.m. – Wright Waters, Commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Some leftover notes

From the Larry Blakeney Camp in Dothan a couple of weeks ago. Hope everyone had a happy 4th.

***Blakeney is anxious to see safety Barry Valcin, who missed last year with a gruesome ankle injury, back in action.

"I’ve seen him three or four times in the last few days in the office going to workouts," Blakeney said. "He’s released to do everything, but I don’t think Chuck lets him get back there in the 7-on-7 stuff. We’re going to have to stick him out there sometime and get his confidence back because I think he’s well.

"He’ll be a good addition because he’s a great kid, he’s got leadership qualities and he can play."

***When I asked about the secondary, here's what he said.
"I like Brynden Trawick, I like Angelo Hadley. We signed a tall corner from Texas (David Whitmore) and he’ll be in here and he’s a player. Chris (Pickett) is well and he’s back. I think we’re going to better back there across the board, at safety and corner.

***On the progress of linebacker Kanorris Davis and if he's ready to be a starter.

"I am so proud of that guy. He doesn’t have any problems. He goes to class every day. He does what he’s supposed to do. He goes over there and gets everything he needs.

"If he doesn’t knock himself out, that’s the biggest thing. Johnny Thompson is starting to catch on to the game. He’s a dynamic athlete. Jacoby (Thomas), he’s trimmed down a little bit. He always did a pretty good job when we got him in the game."

***Kenny Edenfield on the running backs
"I think Shawn (Southward)’s going to have a heck of a year. I think we’re deep at running back. Those guys worked really hard in the offseason. Chris Anderson’s a guy that can swing back and forth, so can Justin Albert. Both of those guys are going to play

"D.J. Taylor might be one of our best football players, period. He can do a lot of things."

Saturday, July 2, 2011

2012 Troy commit list

I will update this list with all updates to Troy's 2012 recruiting class. A link will be posted on the right side of the blog.

**** (Star count is the highest rated I could find the commitment listed on all of the recruiting sites - rivals, scout, ESPN,

***Brandon Silvers (QB, Gulf Shores, Ala.)
**Brandon Burks (RB, Daleville, Ala.)
***Andre Allen (RB, Panama City, Fla.)\
***Bobby Walker (WR, Fruit Cove, Fla.)
***Brandon Brooks (WR, Jacksonville, Fla.)
**Michael Lindsey (WR, Elba, Ala.)
Antonio Garcia (OL, Riverdale, Ga.)
***Luke Lawrence (OL, Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
**Tyler Lassiter (OL, Hazel Green, Ala.)
Garrett Peek (DE, Millbrook, Ala.)
Jamal Stadom (DE, Melbourne, Fla.)
James Mathis (DL, Valdosta, Ga.)
**Terris Lewis (LB, Linden, Ala.)
**Mitchell Roland (LB, Auburn, Ala.)
***Shaquille Beverly (DB, Jacksonville, Fla.) - MIDYEAR
JaQuadrian Lewis (DB, Fitzgerald, Ga.)
**John Knight (DB, Thomasville, Ala.)
**Rishad Goode (DB, Madison, Ala.)
Montres Kitchens (DB/ATH, Burke County, Ga.)
***Deon Anthony (QB/ATH, Hinds, Miss. CC) - MIDYEAR
***Jamel Johnson (WR, Holmes, Miss. CC) - MIDYEAR
***Chris Hawkins (OL, Hutchinson, Kan. CC) - MIDYEAR
**Brandon Timmons (DE, Northwest Miss. CC) - MIDYEAR
**Wayland Coleman-Dancer (LB, Miss. Delta CC) - MIDYEAR
**Eli Canton (LB, NE Mississippi CC) - MIDYEAR
***Mark Wilson (LB, Fullerton, Calif. CC) - MIDYEAR
**Brandon Powe (LB, Miss. Delta CC) - MIDYEAR
***Jeremy Spikner (DB, NE Mississippi CC) - MIDYEAR
***Martrez Townes (DB, Itawamba, Miss. CC) - MIDYEAR
**Will Scott (P, Gulf Coast Miss. CC) - MIDYEAR
**Braylon Williams (DE, Kilgore, Texas CC)
Derrek Upshaw (DL, Jones County, Miss. JC)
Xavier Melton (DT, Butler County, Kan. CC)
Zach Miller (DB, Butler County, Kan. CC)

Chris Davis (DB, Thomasville, Ala.)
Ryan Kay (K, Hampton, Ga.)
Lonnie Gosha (DL, Lake Butler, Fla.) - Arkansas transfer

Troy recruiting update

Troy now has its second commitment of the 2012 recruiting class (as far as I know).

Fitzgerald, Ga. safety JaQuadrian Lewis recently committed to Troy. The Trojans' first commit was a big one in terms of rankings on 3-star cornerback Shaquille Beverly of Jacksonville (First Coast) Fla.

Lewis, who is around 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, had 138 tackles and two interceptions last year, according to

Pretty soon I'll add a commitment list and have it bookmarked on the side of the blog page.