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2011 Season Preview:
Alcorn State Braves

Aug. 4, 2011

Courtesy Alcorn State Sports Information Office -

Offensive minded Alcorn State head football coach, Melvin Spears, will run a multiple pro-type offense with the Braves this season. The offense will be centered around returning quarterback, Brandon Bridge, who passed for 19 touchdowns and over 2,000 yards his freshman season. ‘Air Canada’ was second on the team in rushing yardage and scored six touchdowns rushing.

Both runningbacks will return this season, Gabriel Nash, who led the team in rushing and Arnold Walker, injured in game number two. Spears is very excited about the recruited runningbacks and is looking forward to having a very balanced offensive attack this season.

Receiving wise, Bridge and the new offense, which will see as many as five receivers in the game, will only increase his completions and touchdowns. He’ll have returnees Simon Collier, Chris Perkins, and Donte Parker plus the transfer from Ole Miss, Andrew Harris. The recruits should help make the receiving corps just as potent, or more, than it was last season.

The offensive line will be anchored by senior center, Isaac Williams (6’2/290) of Clinton, MS. Spears and staff will be retooling the rest of the offensive line
and are looking for the newcomers in camp in June to compete for the other starting slots.

Defensive coordinator, Michael Roach, has to replace many starters from the defensive unit of 2010 which yielded 29 points per game. The Braves averaged 28 points and Roach and staff want to cut that 29 down to 14 or 10 points allowed.

Brandon Morris, Jon Hughes, Rickey Joseph – 6’2 and 320 lbs, Jermaine Turner- 6’3 and 275 plus Carrington Aloese – 6’3 and 320 from Samoa has Spears and staff smiling in anticipation.

The defensive backs will be green, and Spears admits that they could conceivably start four freshman. Leadership is expected from Jamison Knox, Oscar Goldman and Casey Freeman. But as Spears puts it, “We are actually starting over with younger guys.”

Linebacker coach, Louis Green, is really excited with Laron Trigg, Kenneth Roby, Leviticus Cain, Gabriel Grey and Daniel Roberson. The most intriguing duo may be twins, Reginald and Robert
Clay, both standing 6’1 and weighing in at 225 pounds.

Spears adds that on defense they are in a rebuilding mode as so many players have to be replaced. Much emphasis was put on special teams as Spears says that offense packs the stand, defense wins games and special teams wins championships.

Arturo Tamayo will handle the extra points and field goals, plus the punting as well. Spears is looking for more depth in that department by adding another kicking specialist. Jacquez Caldwell and Gabriel Grey, both very explosive and elusive, are being counted on to make big returns.

Jonathan Hill is being relied upon to lead on the coverage teams, getting downfield to make crucial tackles. States Spears“Kickoff coverage will be very crucial to our success on special teams.”

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