HEAD COACH: Scott Maxfield (2nd season)
2002 RECORD: 4-5
PRE-SEASON RANKING (NJCAA): 15
2003 OUTLOOK: Last year's Blinn team had but 10 sophomores. The rest were a bunch of new guys, none of whom were around for spring ball according to Maxfield. Nevertheless, the offense broke the conference record for total offensive yards. Expect more of the same in 2003.
"I think we've got a great chance to win our conference championship," said Maxfield. "A lot of guys went through spring and are more ready. And we really helped ourselves through recruiting at linebacker. Our defensive line is more physical."
This season's offense should be flying high again behind sophomore QB Dane King (6-1, 205), who broke six school records. Expect a good number of his balls to be caught by freshman wide receiver Rashad Turner (5-11, 175). As a high school senior he was named to the Texas Top 100 and ran a 21.8 100 meters and posted a 7'2" high jump. Look for freshman James Johnson (6-1, 195) to make an impact at running back. He's yet another Texas Top 100 guy.
If the defense can tighten its belt then Blinn will be right in the thick of things. They've got tremendous speed and athleticism at linebacker.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Quarterback Dane King was third in the conference in passing as a freshman with nearly 2,000 yards passing (166-305), 9 TDs, and 9 INTs. Pre-season NJCAA All-American punter Lance Lane returns after a 2002 season in which he averaged 43 yards per boot.
FIRST GAME: At home against Texas Lutheran Univ. on Sept. 4 (7:00 p.m.).