Wayne State Football Defensive Preview
Posted: 26 August, 2015
Photo Credit: Wayne State Athletics
By: Doug Lowery
WAYNE - Coach Dan McLaughlin has more questions than answers when it comes to his hybrid defense.
After graduating seniors from the defensive line, linebackers and defensive backs McLaughlin will have to wait until week one versus Minnesota-Crookston to get answers.
"I am excited about some kids who haven't been in our program," said McLaughlin. "But have played at a very high level."
One of the players who might prove to be an answer is Rakeem Williams, who is in his first year at Wayne State College after playing in Los Angeles during his time in junior college.
"Graduating Abram Walker and Jeff Van Den Top as our two defensive ends really leaves the question as to who is going to bring the heat to the Quarterback from the outside."
Also options to help fill those two spots are a pair of redshirt freshman. Randy Bryan sat out injured last year, but is back on campus ready to play. Logan Weinandt was a star at Hartington Cedar Catholic High School and could also see time in a defensive line rotation.
The Wildcats leading tackler from a season ago Nick Manzu graduated, which will make way for DeWayne Scott to take over at middle linebacker. Nate Kroupa returns as the starting weak-side linebacker, and will provide leadership on a unit that has seen turnover in the past year.
The hybrid position of Sam Linebacker, which is expected to rush the passer and defend in coverage, will be manned by Marcus Jenkins-Moore who is a fifth year senior transfer from the University of North Dakota.
The starting Cornerbacks for the Wildcats will be Sophomore Tyri Bethea and Senior Jon Davis. The most turnover in the defensive backfield will come at Safety, where the Wildcats graduated Chase Samuel. Look for Cam Montgomery to be in the starting lineup on September 5th at one of the Safety spots. Alongside him will most likely Nick deBuhr who was injured last season.
Overall the group will look to improve versus a conference stacked with offensive talent.
The Wildcat football team will get their first test of the season during their home opener on Friday, September 5. WSC will host the University Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles at 1 p.m. at Bob Cunningham Field on the campus of Wayne State College. Join Voice of the Wildcats, Aaron Scheffler, and color commentary from Justin Raulston for the pregame show at 12:30 p.m. on Big Red Country 104.9 and online at waynedailynews.com apart of the Wildcat Sports Network.