The second-year head coach speaks for his returning players when he says they were disappointed with a 7-3 finish last season after blazing to five straight victories, but then spiraled out of the rankings by winning only two of their final five. They limped home without a bowl game despite having the NJCAA's No. 24 ranked offense and No. 7 rated defense.
"We have to play hard, play smart and play together," he said. "The next step will be to prove ourselves to junior college football....We have to show the school -- the administration, faculty, staff and other students -- and the community on a daily basis that these players are responsible young men."
Franchione wants to make sure the team doesn't wander from core principles of success like trust, effort and discipline.
"These are thing we have to prove to ourselves not only on game day, but throughout the week as we prepare for the game," he said.
Franchione says he's prepared to play a lot of players. He'll have to pare down from a 106-man full program roster -- 48 freshmen, 16 sophomores, 25 redshirt freshmen and 17 redshirt sophomores -- to find the right mix, but there is an abundance of talent on campus.
Quarterbacking is a four-man battle now among sophomores Chris Webb of Lake Dallas and Brad Guidry of Rusk, and freshmen Terrance Kirk of Alief Elsik and Terrance Cain of North Shore.
Most likely candidate to fill the shoes of two-time NJCAA All-American running back James Johnson may be Central Arkansas University redshirt sophomore transfer Bernard Scott (6-0, 205) of Wichita Falls. Depth will be provided by freshmen KeKe Gant of Humble, Justin Jordan of Plano, and Brandon King of Katy.
Pre-season All-Americans and first-team all-conference receivers Carl Johnson and Phillip Beck head a sure-handed group that also may feature sophomores Kevin Ferguson, Marcus Brigham, Garrett Tidwell and athletic D-I transfer Vincent Ibewuike.
With all-conference tackle George Nobles (6-1, 280) and Jake Johnson (6-7, 360) anchoring, Blinn's offensive line will average 6-2, 290 in dimension and represent one of the largest lines in NJCAA ball.
That nationally rated defense only figures to improve with pre-season All-Americans Terald Clark and Alex Cook, and a talented secondary featuring super sophomore Bryan Mouton (5-10, 180) and All-America candidate Alfonso Jackson.
Defensive size, strength and speed is present in all areas. Three of the hardest workers in off-season conditioning -- Emannuel Stephns, Ryan Gloston and Michael Rhines -- will push projected starters Michael Tate and Mervin Williams in the defensive front four.
Here's a thumbnail preview of the 2006 Blinn Buccaneers, picked by SWJCFC coaches to finish third.
TEAM: Blinn Buccaneers
COLORS: Blue and White
HOME FIELD: Spencer Field
HEAD COACH: Brad Franchione (2nd year)
ASSISTANT COACHES: Mike Nesbitt (OC/QB/WR/RC); Kevin McKinley (DB); Lloyd Spotted Wolf (DL); Keith Browning (RB); Matt Richardson (LB).
2005 SEASON RECORD: 7-3
2005 CONFERENCE RECORD: 4-2
POSITION IN STANDINGS: Four-way tie for first, but fourth-seeded for the playoffs
BOWL GAMES: None
NJCAA 2005 FINAL RANKING: No. 22
MOVING ON: Tony Burson (OL, Midwestern), James Johnson (RB, Kansas State); Jamar Green (KR/PR, Henderson State); Jacob Patek (LB, Hawaii); Cedric Larnette (CB, Arkansas-Monticello); Courtney Edmond (S, Kansas State); Joe Danna (QB, Louisiana Tech); Brandt Goeke (PK-WR, Texas A&M); Ryan Mengo (DT, SFA); Julian Humble (DE, Texas State); Chris Cooper (CB, Arkansas-Monticello); David Wright (DL, Indiana State); Kurt Kutscher (OL, Henderson State); Mike Spears (WR, Henderson State)
BASIC OFFENSE: Multiple
BASIC DEFENSE: 4-3
RETURNING: Phillip Beck (5-9, 185, RS-S, WR, Crosby); Phillip Bradford (6-2, 280, RS-S, DL, Sugarland Dulles) Wonseleh Brewer (5-8, 170, Soph., CB, Richardson); Marcus Brigham (5-10, 195, Soph., RB, Fort Worth Southwest); Don Brooks (6-1, 203, R-Fr, RB, Waller); Donald Brown (6-0, 315, DL, Houston Waltrip); Roger Brown (6-5, 320, RS-S., OG, Tomball / Tr-Oklahoma State); Terald Clark, (5-11, 290, RS-S, DL, Houston North Shore); Gremon Coffman (6-2, 215, DB, Duncanville); Alex Cook (6-3, 225, Soph., DE, St. Petersburg, Fla./ Oscieola); Quincy Driver (6-1, 180, R-Fr., WR, Houston Lamar); Ken Dunn, (5-11, 230, RS-S, LB, Hearne); Samer Elqubub (6-1, 230, R-Fr,TE, Katy Cinco Ranch); Kevin Ferguson (6-1, 205, Soph., WR, Fort Bend Kempner); Terrance Flagg (6-2, 275, R-Fr., LB, Bay City); Brandon Fontenot (6-1, 190, R-FR., WR, Brenham); Ryan Gloston (6-2, 275, RS-S, DL, Houston Westside); Brad Guidry (6-7, 230, QB, Rusk); Herman Hall (6-2, 297, R-Fr, OT, Fort Bend Bush); Adam Hollingsworth (6-0, 290, OL, McKinney); Alfonso Jackson (5-10, 190, RS-S, DB, Hearne); Jeremy Jackson, (5-11, 200, LB, Burton); Carl Johnson (6-1, 220, RS-S WR, New Orleans Ehret, La..); Jake Johnson (6-7, 370, RS-S OL, Tidehaven); Luis Leal (5-10, 194, R-Fr, PK, Houston Scarborough); Walner Leandre (6-1, 216, DB, Tampa, Fla.); Brandon Medelberg (6-3, 312, RS OL, Krum / Denton Liberty HS); Anthony Moore (6-1, 285, RS, OL, Elgin); Ryan Mouton (5-9, 185, DB, Katy); George Nobles (6-1, 285, OL, Hays); Chris Oguayo (6-0, 230, R-Fr, LB, Pflugerville Connally); Quentin Oliver (6-0, 250, DL, Greenville, S.C.); Michael Rhines (6-1, 231, DL, Little Cypress Mauriceville); Damian Reed (6-0, 235, LB, Fort Bend Hightower); Larod Roberson, (6-3, 260, RS-S, TE, Alief Elsik); Darius Roberts (6-0, 195, DB, Brenham); Jason Rogers (6-0, 340, R-Fr, DT, Giddings); Jeremy Ross (5-10, 172, R-Fr, DB, Cuero); Trey Ross (6-2, 224, R-Fr, DE, Alief Elsik / Tr-Texas A&M); Michael Salazar (5-11, 305, R-Fr, DT, Katy Cinco Ranch); Emmanuel Stephens (6-3, 215, DL, Houston Waltrip); Garrett Tidwell (5-8, 180, WR, Boyd); Mike Tate (6-3, 275, RS-S, DL, Tulsa Booker T. Washington); Adam Warehime (6-0, 190, LB, Belton); Chris Webb (6-0, 220, QB, Lake Dallas); Jeremy Werland (6-0, 205, LB, Columbus); Deray Williams (5-10, 180, WR, Anahuac); Mervin Williams (5-10, 315, DL, Ennis).
NJCAA PRE-SEASON ALL-AMERICANS: Carl Johnson (TE); Phillip Beck (WR); Jake Johnson (OL); Alex Cook (DE); Terald Clark (DT); Alfonso Jackson (DB) -- All Honorable Mentions.
TOP TRANSFERS: Bernard Scott (6-0, 205, RB, Wichita Falls / Tr-Central Arkansas); Vincent Ibewuike (5-11, 191, WR, Plano East / Tr-); Jeffrey Younker (6-3, 285, OL, Richmond Foster / Tr-Northwestern State, La.)
TOP FRESHMAN SIGNEES: Darren Anderson (6-2, 230, TE, Istrouma, La.); Jason Barnes (5-8,. 216, RB, Leander); Christopher Booker (5-10, 175, RB, Wills Point); Kelvin Bowser (6-2, 200, LB, Beaumont Ozen); Terrance Cain (6-2, 180, QB, Galena Park North Shore); Landon Gillaspie (6-2, 223, LB, Burleson); James Gulley (6-3, 280, OL, Beaumont Central); KeKe Gant (6-0, 212, RB, Humble); Dior Gipson (6-4, 215, WR, Corpus Christi Carroll); Marcus Hickman (5-9, 210, RB, Houston Nimitz); Jerrell Hinnant (6-2, 323, OL, Aldine Eisenhower); Danny Jackson (6-0, 175, DB, Beaumont Central); Daniel Johnson (6-0, 175, DB, Spring Woods); Justin Jordan (5-11, 195, RB, Plano); Prentice Joseph (6-0, 205, LB, Pasadena Dobie); Mafileo Kefu, (6-4, 290, OL, Pasadena Dobie); Blake Kelly (5-11, 170, WR, Beaumont West Brook); Rashard Kelly (5-10, 165, WR, Channelview); Brandon King (5-9, 185, RB, Katy); Terrance Kirk (6-3, 240, QB, Alief Elsik); Clinton Leal (6-5, 225, LB, Humble Kingwood); Elrick "E.J." Leblanc (5-8, 160, CB, Beaumont West Brook); Sterling Lewis (6-0, 220, LB, Copperas Cove); Marc Malone (5-9, 210, RB, Ennis); Dayvion Marshall (6-0, 200, LB, Aldine Nimitz); John McMillan (5-10, 175, Beaumont West Brook); Tyler Merritt (6-2, 226, TE, Humble Kingwood); Ty Pleasant, (6-0, 183, DB, Nacogdoches); Jarred Price (6-0, 230, DE, Dallas Madison); Gary Ragston (6-0, 190, LB, Brenham); George Randle (6-6, 245, DE, Fort Bend Kempner); Justin Rideau (6-3, 180, WR, Beaumont Ozen); Jamar Rodriguez (5-8, 170, DB, Fort Bend Kempner); Rodrigo Rojas (6-2, 332, OL, Galveston Ball); Charles Sallie (6-0, 185, WR, Ennis); Zachary Skinner (6-1, 275, OL, Silsbee); Winston Sylvester (6-0, 290, DT, Beaumont Central); William Thompson (5-10, 170, DB, Katy); Jeremy Uluocha (6-0, 230, DE, Fort Bend Kempner); Michael Vereen (6-0, 180, CB, Coppell); Lance Williams (6-1, 265, OL, Galena Park North Shore); Thomas Falkelind (6-6, 290, OL, Sweden); Adrian Dennis (6-1, 215, RB, Pasadena Dobie); Michael Tate (6-2, 260, DE, Tulsa Booker T Washington / Tr-Arkansas); Jeff Blankenship (6-0, 205, LB, Corpus Christi Calallen); Mauricio Bonilla (5-7, 155, PK, Bellville); Davis Orozco (5-8, 175, PK, A&M Consolidated); Tom Walker (6-0, 180, DE, Langham Creek); Ross Young (5-11, 180, WR, Hewitt Midway)
DATE OPPONENT TIME
August 26 -- at Coffeyville CC, Ks. 7 p.m.
September 4 -- at Abilene Christian University JV 4 p.m.
September 9 -- Open Date
September 16 -- Ranger 3 p.m.
September 23 -- at Kilgore * 7 p.m.
September 30 -- Tyler * 3 p.m.
October 7 -- at Trinity Valley * 3 p.m.
October 14 -- Northeastern Oklahoma A&M * + 3 p.m.
October 21 -- at Cisco * 3 p.m.
October 28 -- Navarro * 3 p.m.
* Denotes SWJCFC Games
+ Denotes Homecoming