Team Preview: College of the Canyons

For the past few years, College of the Canyons has been battling to get back to the top of the National North Conference. The Cougar coaches have some interesting prospects on both sides of the ball and a couple that promise to be heavily recruited before it's all said and done...

At quarterback, the Cougars will need to find a replacement for starter Chris Rini. Tyler D'Amore is the likely candidate after completing 31 of his 55 pass attempts for 311 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in spot duty.

Whoever winds up under center, he will have a nice option in RB Matt Bowen to keep the chains moving. Bowen, is a powerful, between-the-tackles runner, who can run over you, but he's got enough speed to get to the second level and make people miss. Last season, as a freshman, the talented tailback finished second on the team with 348 yards while leading the team with seven touchdowns on the ground.

At wideout, the Cougars lost their top two receivers as far as receptions and yards and concerned, but they do return a productive player in Louis Gipson who hauled in 23 receptions for 299 yards and four touchdowns.

Along the offensive line, COC lost two starters, including Will Latu who signed with Oklahoma. Replacing him will be a big focus once training camp gets underway and the top candidate to take over is Lloyd Tunstill, a 6'4, 285-pounder with nimble feet and a nasty streak.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Cougars return what could be one of the most talented back sevens in the state, but up front they will need to find a replacement for the departure of Nick Oliva.

DE Justyn Eddins returns after a solid freshman season that saw him total 19 tackles and timed for the team lead in sacks with 3.5/ He will be joined by DT Clarence McBride who totaled 16 tackles in spot duty.

The linebackers are led by Jake Woolley and Jens Jeters. Woolley already has an offer from Arizona and could play any of the linebacker spots. He racked up 49 tackles and posted an interception from his outside linebacker spot last year.

In the deep patrol, Jarrett Tryon holds down one of the corner positions after posting 25 tackles and four interceptions last fall.

He will be joined by safeties Eric Finney and Rashad Albert who both had solid freshman seasons in 2011.

The Cougars start off the season on Saturday September 1st with a home game against Golden West and follow that up the next weekend with a home game against Saddleback. Their first road game is on September 15th against College of the Desert before they begin conference play the following week against Pasadena City College on September 22nd at home.

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