Team Preview: Arizona Western (Defense)

Last year, Arizona Western went 11-1 and played for the National Championship. This year, head coach Tom Minnick and his outstanding group of coaches have the Matadors poised for another run at a title. Today we focus on the AWC's defensive stars and some players to keep an eye on this fall...

Defensive Coordinator and Associate Head Coach Jerry Dominguez took the time to run down Arizona Western's defensive roster and gave us some comments on each top prospect...


DE Randy Gregory - "He signed with Purdue out of high school and I think they are his number one school right now, but I also think he wants to take a look at what else is out there and look around a little. He has offers from Arkansas, Kansas, Louisville, Illinois, Purdue, Utah, Oregon State, Ole Miss and Iowa and a few more schools are getting close to offering too. He's long, he's got great range and for a big guy like he is, he is flexible enough to drop into coverage and play some stand-up linebacker for us when we go 3-4. He's a really good player and athlete."

DE Sam Wren - "Sam is a really gifted kid. He's an absolute stud and he's another who could play with his hand up or his hand down. He's strong at the point and a good tackler. He has offers from Nevada, Texas State, New Mexico State and Louisiana-Lafayette."

DT Kevin Fortson - "Kevin transferred to us from Northeast Oklahoma. He's big and physical and a really good athlete for his size. He'll be at defensive tackle for us and he'll get offers as more schools see him and like what they see."

DT Jeff Brown - "He came to us after Joliet dropped their program. He was committed to Miami out of high school, so he's special athletically and he'll be a real force for us. No offers yet, but he'll have plenty before the season is over."

LB D'Vante Henry - "Henry is our 'field' linebacker. He signed with Oregon State out of high school and they've offered him again. He's really a rangy guy. Iowa State and Texas A&M are close to offering him. He and Gregory are clones of each other, so that should tell you about his skills."

LB Michael Carlisle - "He started at Butler as a true freshman in 2010 and that just doesn't happen there, but he did, so that tells you about his talent. He's a really good player. He left there and in order for you to enroll here at play here, you have to be a high school graduate and he wasn't so he had to go back and take care of all that, so he redshirted last year. He'll be our WIL (weakside) linebacker and he can play some Rover for us, sorta a hybrid nickel type guy. Arkansas State and South Alabama have both offered and I'm sure more and more schools will come after him when they see what he can do and see his transcripts."

LB Raahmil Brantley - "He transferred to us from Mt. San Antonio and he'll be at one of our outside spots. He's a really talented kid."

LB Jeffrey Lark - "He'll get out in December with three to play three. He was at Fort Scott and redshirted there last year. After their coaching change, he decided to head here and we're very happy to have him. He'll be at the MIK (middle) spot for us. He has offers from South Alabama and Arkansas State."

LB Timothy Patterson - "Tim transferred to us from Kentucky. He's another middle-type guy. He's got great size -- 6'5", 240 -- and range and he's really physical. He'll have some offers after the season is over. He's another three to play three guy."

S Khambrel Garland - "He'll be starting for us at the free safety spot this fall. He was at Hutchinson last year and came here this spring. He's really a solid kid and a player. He has offers from Tennessee, Baylor, Indiana, South Alabama and Oregon State."

S Pat Martin - "He'll play our strong safety spot this year. We love what he brings to our run-support. He's a really physical player. When he hits you, you go down. He's a good-looking kid and he's got great football smarts. He's really a savvy player. He is close to getting an offer from Arkansas and he has some other offers -- Texas Tech, Oregon State, South Alabama, Memphis and New Mexico State -- so he's one of the top guys getting looks right now."

CB Nate Willis - "A real special player. He's got that great frame, long arms and he's smart about the way he plays guys. He's already got six offers -- Iowa State, Kansas, Memphis, Mississippi State, New Mexico and South Florida -- and I bet he gets a few more before the start of the season."

CB Cassius Sendish - "He's a really good cornerback. He's got an offer from New Mexico State and more schools are showing him a lot of interest. He's like Nate in that he's got long arms and he plays a real physical brand outside. That's something we like to do with our corners and he fits it perfectly."

K/P Tilghman Harvey - "He kicks and punts for us and I think he's good enough to do either one at a four-year school. He's got a strong leg and he's accurate. He's tough too."

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