Townsend talks commitment

With four departing seniors on a D-line that has been less than steady in 2010, MT defensive coordinator Randall McCray has a lot to figure out prior to next season. Currently, he has the verbal commitments of four defensive lineman for the 2011 class, with the latest coming from Joe Townsend. BRZ recently chatted with Joe about his decision and what he's looking at as far as playing time goes.

Joe Townsend Profile

"I never imagined playing for [Middle Tennessee] before, but now that it happened, I'm really excited about it," Townsend tells BRZ. "They're graduating a lot of D-lineman, so I've got a great chance to come in and have a big impact as a true freshman."

At 6-4, 285 Townsend certainly looks ready to contribute to a defensive line in desperate need of depth. A quick glance at his offers shows that there are plenty of schools around the nation who thought he had what it takes on the field, too.

"Vanderbilt, Ohio, Tulane, Buffalo, Arkansas State and Southern Illinois were the main ones," Townsend says of the schools recruiting him in addition to Middle Tennessee. All of those programs had offered him prior to his commitment.

When it came down to it, Townsend felt that the Blue Raiders had the most to offer him.

"It's close to home and they win a lot of ball games," he says of the deciding factors. "The graduation rate has increased incredibly over the past couple of years, too."

Being a local kid, Townsend maintains that he's been familiar with the Blue Raider program for a while, but he wasn't as knowledgeable about it until recently. Still, he has taken notice since the arrival of head coach Rick Stockstill.

"I know ever since Stockstill's been there they've been winners," he says. "I know the staff has a bunch of great coaches and like I said, I never imagined playing for them, but now I'm really excited about it."

Stay tuned to for more on the 2011 signing class and the most exclusive coverage of Middle Tennessee athletics on the web.

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