Last season, Modesto's offensive attack was led by one of the top signal-callers in the Golden State in Quinton McCown.
McCown completed 58.1% of his passes for 2,245 yards with 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions while rushing for over 500 yards and nine more scores.
Because McCown was so good last season, he garnered attention from several four-year schools and accepted an offer from New Mexico. That means that Jackson Meyer will be the trigger-man for the attack this fall.
Meyer saw limited reps last fall, but he's got a big fram and the coaches like him because he's accurate and smart.
When he drops back to pass, Meyer will have the top two receivers from last fall at his disposal in Brian Alvarez and David Gianesin.
Alvarez led the team in receptions (52) and yards (882) and also finished with four touchdowns. He's quick and plays bigger than his 5'9", 170-pound frame would indicate.
The Pirate coaches love the heady play of Gianesin, who finished with 44 receptions for 504 yards and finished tied for the lead with seven touchdown receptions. At 6'4" and 180 pounds, he's a nice contrast to what Alvarez can do and if he can get it done in the classroom, he will be an interesting prospect to keep an eye on this fall.
At tailback, Aaron Fields had a solid freshman season posting 901 yards rushing and nine touchdowns and with the graduation of Markus Sanders, he can expect to get the lion's share of the carries this season.
Along the offensive line, Modesto returns four starters from last season and are led by Chris Holloway, a 6'9", 305-pounder who is an outstanding athlete.
Also leading the way are Marco Comacho, an athletic lineman who, if he were a little bigger, would probably have a plethora of offers, Rudy Hernandez, a physical drive-blocker, and Rumzee Fakhouri who is a solid contributor and a very good student.
On the defensive side of the ball, up front, the Pirates have defensive ends Timmy Barnard and Malcolm Mann along with defensive tackle Devon Woodall.
Both Mann and Barnard saw quite a bit of playing time as freshman last fall with Mann posting 33 tackles and three sacks while Barnard racked up 20 tackles and 2.5 sacks in seven games.
LB Kurtis Sewell had a solid season as a freshman in 2011, posting 46 tackles to go along with 1.5 sacks and one interception.
The other returning linebackers include Andy Bunting (21 tackles, three sacks), Jaime Lemus (17 tackles) and Andrew Morgan who the coaches have raved about due to his speed and range.
In the secondary, Kiefer Haynes, Jordell Howard, who redshirted in 2011, Stephen Thayer and Laron Thompson all return and are expected to be one of the better groups in Northern California.
Thayer, who is one of the fastest players on the team, is the top returning tackler from last year with 49 tackles, two interceptions and 16 passes defensed.
Finally, at kicker, the Pirates have two solid specialists in Dominic Dammi and Guillermo Ramirez.
Dammi handles the kickoffs while Ramirez will likely handle the punting and place-kicking duties. Last year, he hit on 7 of his 11 attempts with a long of 42 yards.
Modesto starts the season off at home on September 1st against Merced before heading on the road for games against Hartnell and Laney in consecutive weeks.
Team Preview: Modesto
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