Miami of Ohio is set to fly into town to take on the Broncos Saturday night. Here is a brief preview of the Redhawk team.
coach Mike Haywood made changes in the Redhawk lineup when they opened the
last week. After the 42-0 defeat,
he has made more, not satisfied with the team's upperclassmen.
could start as many as five sophomores and five freshmen Saturday against
Senior Daniel Raudabaugh leads the Redhawk offense.
He had a tough day in Commonwealth Stadium last week vs.
. The Wildcats limited him to
13-of-34 passing for 126 yards and had two interceptions.
He'll try to get untracked against the Bronco defense.
Raudabaugh was 201-343 (58.9%) for 1,960 yards and eight touchdowns vs.
nine interceptions last season. He
has good arm strength and is nearing 5,000 career passing yards.
picked up 62 yards on 22 carries (2.8 avg.) last week but those yards were also
limited by having to play catch-up. Thomas Merriweather (5-10, 205, Jr.) paced the Redhawks with 547 yards on the ground
and four touchdowns in 2008. Merriweather
has good vision and is a good pass protector in the backfield. Haywood has
inserted Andre Bratton (5-11, 185, Sr.) into the starting role against
. Bratton had seven carries for 37 yards last week against
One area the Redhawks excelled in last week was the ability
to stop penetration into their backfield—the
offensive line allowed just three tackles for loss last week.
allowed two sacks in their season opener.
Brandon Brooks (6-5, 325, So.) will start at left tackle.
Brooks squats 635 pounds and will try to overpower you with brute
strength. Brooks started all 12
games last season at left guard as a freshman.
Bob Gulley (6-4, 308, Jr.) will start at left guard after starting half
of last season. Gulley benches 440
and has the reputation of a strong pass blocker.
Redshirt freshman Matt Kennedy (6-5, 258) won the starting job last week
at right tackle over Ken Staudinger (6-5, 272, So.).
They are both physical and come off the ball well.
Nate Williams (6-5, 308, Jr.) is the right guard.
Williams squats 500. Grayshirt
freshman Brad Bednar (6-4, 273) is the center.
returned both of their top receivers from last year.
Junior Jamal Rogers (42-359) and Chris Givens (35 for 513 and seven
touchdowns) give Raudabaugh familiar targets.
has great speed after the catch and the Redhawks like to use him in the running
game as well on the end-around. He
receiving corps last week with six catches for 56 yards while Givens had four
receptions for 37. Eugene Harris
(33-286 and 1 TD) also returns this fall. Freshman
Andy Cruse (6-4, 213) has great potential and will see considerable playing
time. Cruse signed with
after a stellar high school career in
. Dustin Woods (5-11, 191, Sr.) has
100 career receptions for
and will also be a factor.
Kendrick Bruton (6-4, 259, So.) is the starting tight end.
Sophomore linebacker Jerrell Wedge (5-9, 223, So.) had a
sensational spring to earn the starting spot and is
second in the nation with 15 tackles while junior safety Jordan Gafford (6-0,
206, Sr.) is ninth in the country with 13 tackles and fellow safety Anthony Kokal (6-0, 203, So.) had 10 last week. Gafford
is athletic and a captain of the team.
Caleb Bostic (6-3, 232) is an all-league candidate in his
senior year who power cleans 310. Bostic
is a physical presence on the Redhawk defense that will make plays all over the
field. Bostic is seeking to rebound
this year after seeing his tackles drop from 103 his sophomore year to 40 last
season. Bostic had nine stops last week vs.
. DeAndre Gilmore (6-1, 224, Jr.) is
the starter at WILL linebacker. True
freshmen Wes Williams (6-3, 224) and Evan Harris (6-0, 206) also saw
considerable playing time.
Brandon Stephens (5-10, 197, Jr.) and Jeff Thompson (5-10,
192, Sr.) complete the Redhawk secondary. Stephens
is a good cover corner and has a 35-inch vertical leap.
Thompson is one of the Mid-American Conference's top defensive backs,
is a hard worker and will be counted on this fall to provide leadership on the
Senior Martin Channels (6-0, 319) tied with Brooks for the
team lead with 635 pounds in the squat. He
led the team with eight tackles for loss last season in starting 11 of 12 games
at nose tackle. Mike Johns (6-4,
260, Fr.) had a good spring and earned the starting spot at left defensive end.
Jordain Brown (6-0, 289, So.) is the right defensive tackle while Morris Council (6-2, 255, Jr.) will start at right defensive end.
Council had 23 tackles, 5.5 for loss, last season.
Matt Kajmowicz (6-4, 250, So.) earned his second career start last week
Senior Chris DiCesare got a workout against
, having to punt 10 times for a 36.9 average.
Seniors Dustin Woods (5-78) and
will be back for kickoffs.
needs 273 yards to break the school record in that department.
Harris has a 9.2 punt return average and returned two for touchdowns last
year. Mike Rummler (6-2, 209, Jr.)
is the long snapper.
This is a green
team that got thrown to the wolves last week against
. It will be tough for them to find
themselves this week against the Broncos. Any
time you learn a new system it takes time.
's challenge will be to play with the same intensity which they displayed last
Kickoff is set for Saturday night at 6 in Bronco Stadium!