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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

MU football

Below is from the MU web site and SID Greg Viscomi..I am posting it here so folks may comment (and offer others the opportunity to take a breath from whining about men's basketball)...




MONMOUTH FOOTBALL SPRING PRACTICE: DEFENSIVE PREVIEW

Over the past 14 seasons one thing has been consistent in Monmouth football, the defense is always one of the best in the conference. Last season the MU defense held opponents to 12.67 points per game, which ranked first in all of the FCS (formerly I-AA). Monmouth also finished third in pass efficiency defense, seventh in total defense and eighth in rushing defense. MU will have to replace nine of 11 starters on the defensive side of the ball, including Regional All-American Matt Hill and four other All-Northeast Conference performers.

Defensive Line: The Hawks lost all three of their starters on the defensive line but there are players on the roster that have game experience. Kevin Walsh (Mt. Laurel, N.J./Lenape) returns for his junior season after recording 13 tackles in 10 games, with 4.5 of those takedowns coming in the backfield. The defensive tackle demonstrated good speed off the ball while playing with strength as he finished 2006 with the third most sacks on the team (3.5 for a loss of 28 yards). Senior Chris Reed (Stewartstown, Pa./York Catholic) also saw significant time last season, appearing in all 12 games and finishing with 13 tackles. Monmouth’s quickest d-lineman will be competing for a starting spot at defensive end where he should develop as MU’s most dangerous pass rusher.

Fifth-year senior Vinny Fonti (Bayonne, N.J./Bayonne) is pound-for-pound the strongest player on the Blue & White and figures to compete for a starting spot at defensive end. Fonti has gameday experience in each of his three previous seasons, including five games last year. Junior David Kennedy (Fort Lee, N.J./Paterson Catholic) is the Hawks top backup at the defensive end position. Kennedy, who plays with power and has solid pass-rush moves, played in four games as a sophomore. Redshirt-freshman Jeff King (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan) could see time at the noseguard/tackle position as one of Monmouth’s top run stoppers. Two converted linebackers, Troy Butler (Pennsauken, N.J./Woodrow Wilson) and Steve Scholl (Manasquan, N.J./Wall) round out the defensive line. Butler made the switch before the 2006 season and will compete at the defensive end position due to his speed off of the edge. Scholl, a junior, will look for a spot in the rotation at defensive end. His athletic ability and speed will help him get to quarterbacks in passing situations.



Linebacker: Senior T.J. Cerezo (Stanhope, N.J./Lenape Valley Regional) is the only returning starter at the linebacker position. The outside linebacker started all 12 games last season, recording 32 tackles and a fumble recovery. Cerezo knows the Hawk defense and has been a leader to primarily young MU defensive personnel during the spring sessions. Junior Tyler Burnett (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) will compete for a starting spot in the spring and preseason. Burnett, who consistently puts himself in a position to make plays, played in seven games in 2006. Matt Sterner (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) is competing for a starting spot at inside linebacker. Sterner, a junior who played in two games last season, is a physical player who has demonstrated a good understanding of Monmouth’s defensive schemes.

Senior Larry Hudson (Somers Point, N.J./Mainland Regional) has been asked to move to inside linebacker and is taking the spring to learn his new role. Junior Tom Larkin (Hamilton, N.J./Steinert) had a good offseason in the weight room and should compete for a backup spot as he continues to learn the MU defense. Sophomore Joe Cella (Jackson, N.J./Jackson) played on special teams in two games as a true freshman. The local product will make a push for playing time if he continues to improve during the spring and preseason. Freshman Jeff Brady, (East Aurora, N.Y./St. Francis) will get more reps in the spring as his continues to get comfortable with the Blue & White’s schemes.

Two freshmen, Joe Bates and Anthony Fiorillo, joined the team just prior to the spring session. The coaching staff is impressed with their progress but the duo are still learning the position and the defense. Senior Jordan Good (Bexley, Ohio/Bexley) has been out in the spring due to an injury suffered late last season.



Defensive Back: Senior Ayo Falae (Newark, N.J./Barringer) is the lone returning starter in the Hawk defensive backfield. Last season he was fourth on the team in tackles with 48 takedowns, while recording two pass breakups, an interceptions and a blocked kick. The conerback has shown considerable leadership on the field in the spring, which is important on a team with so much young talent. Senior Marcus Shell (Westhampton, N.J./Rancocas Valley) is MU’s leading candidate to replace All-NEC corner David Jiles. Shell, who has good coverage instincts, saw action in 11 games last season as a key backup in the defensive secondary.

Senior Bryan Bischoff (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury) will compete for time at corner in the spring and preseason. Bischoff was a key defensive special teams player last season, recording 16 tackles in 10 games. Senior Brian Robinson (East Brunswick, N.J./East Brunswick) has had a very impressive spring to date. The Monmouth speedster led the Hawks in kick return yardage in 2006 but could be in the mix for a starting cornerback spot depending on how things play out leading up to the season opener. A trio of redshirt freshman in Ken Amsel (Demarest, N.J./Northern Valley Regional), Joe Arneth (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Memorial) and Jon Stolarz (Andover, N.J./Hopatcong) will also compete for playing time in the backfield. Amsel has decent cover skills and good foot speed but is surrounded by a lot of talent at the position. Arneth is a physical player who can cover well and could challenge for significant playing time this fall if not a starting spot. The coaching staff will have to wait till the summer to get a better look at Stolarz, who has successfully recovered from off-season shoulder surgery but will not be participating in contact drills during spring practice.

With the loss of both starting safeties, the position is wide open for competition. Fifth-year senior Derek Bischoff (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury) Stolarz could also be a surprise competitor at the safety position as well. Jay Robinson (Camden, N.J./Woodrow Wilson) has improved physically over the winter break and will compete for time at one of the two spots. Chad Tirpack (Manasquan, N.J./Wall) could be vie for a top spot in the defensive backfield depending on how he performs in the spring. Freshman Bobby Cole (Jackson, N.J./Jackson) missed all of the fall with an injury and will be using the spring to get a grasp on the defensive schemes. Cole brings a physical presence to the Hawks and could be in the mix for significant playing time in the fall. Freshman Matt Walsh (Red Bank, N.J./Middletown South) moved from corner to safety and will use the spring to learn his new responsibilities.

Junior Gary Michalowski (Hockessin, Del./Charter School) and seniors Neal Haynes and Nick Schneider (Middlesex, N.J./Middlesex) will add depth to the Hawk defensive backfield and will be looking to make an impression on the coaching staff this spring.



Check back to www.GoMUHawks.com for a breakdown of the Monmouth special teamers. The Hawks wrap up the spring season with their annual Blue & White Spring game on Sunday, April 22. Admission is free, with kickoff starting at 12 noon.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You left out a sentence or two from the actual article from the Monmouth site.

7:29 PM, April 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You left out a few sentences from the actual article from the Monmouth site. See Below:

Over the past 14 seasons one thing has been consistent in Monmouth football, the defense is always one of the best in conference. Last season the MU defense held opponents to 12.67 points per game, which ranked first in all of the FCS (formerly I-AA). Monmouth also finished third in pass efficiency defense, seventh in total defense and eighth in rushing defense. MU will have to replace nine of 11 starters on the defensive side of the ball, including Regional All-American Matt Hill and four other All-Northeast Conference performers.

“Spring practice is about developing our players, improving technique and establishing depth in all positions,” said head coach Kevin Callahan. “On defense, there is a lot of work to do. Losing nine of eleven starters is never easy, and it will be critical that our younger players develop quickly.”

Defensive Line: The Hawks lost all three of their starters on the defensive line but there are players on the roster that have game experience. Kevin Walsh (Mt. Laurel, N.J./Lenape) returns for his junior season after recording 13 tackles in 10 games, with 4.5 of those takedowns coming in the backfield. The defensive tackle demonstrated good speed off the ball while playing with strength as he finished 2006 with the third most sacks on the team (3.5 for a loss of 28 yards). Senior Chris Reed (Stewartstown, Pa./York Catholic) also saw significant time last season, appearing in all 12 games and finishing with 13 tackles. Monmouth’s quickest d-lineman will be competing for a starting spot at defensive end where he should develop as MU’s most dangerous pass rusher.

Fifth-year senior Vinny Fonti (Bayonne, N.J./Bayonne) is pound-for-pound the strongest player on the Blue & White and figures to compete for a starting spot at defensive end. Fonti has gameday experience in each of his three previous seasons, including five games last year. Junior David Kennedy (Fort Lee, N.J./Paterson Catholic) is the Hawks top backup at the defensive end position. Kennedy, who plays with power and has solid pass-rush moves, played in four games as a sophomore. Redshirt-freshman Jeff King (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan) could see time at the noseguard/tackle position as one of Monmouth’s top run stoppers. Two converted linebackers, Troy Butler (Pennsauken, N.J./Woodrow Wilson) and Steve Scholl (Manasquan, N.J./Wall) round out the defensive line. Butler made the switch before the 2006 season and will compete at the defensive end position due to his speed off of the edge. Scholl, a junior, will look for a spot in the rotation at defensive end. His athletic ability and speed will help him get to quarterbacks in passing situations.



Linebacker: Senior T.J. Cerezo (Stanhope, N.J./Lenape Valley Regional) is the only returning starter at the linebacker position. The outside linebacker started all 12 games last season, recording 32 tackles and a fumble recovery. Cerezo knows the Hawk defense and has been a leader to primarily young MU defensive personnel during the spring sessions. Junior Tyler Burnett (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) will compete for a starting spot in the spring and preseason. Burnett, who consistently puts himself in a position to make plays, played in seven games in 2006. Matt Sterner (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) is competing for a starting spot at inside linebacker. Sterner, a junior who played in two games last season, is a physical player who has demonstrated a good understanding of Monmouth’s defensive schemes.

Senior Larry Hudson (Somers Point, N.J./Mainland Regional) has been asked to move to inside linebacker and is taking the spring to learn his new role. Junior Tom Larkin (Hamilton, N.J./Steinert) had a good offseason in the weight room and should compete for a backup spot as he continues to learn the MU defense. Sophomore Joe Cella (Jackson, N.J./Jackson) played on special teams in two games as a true freshman. The local product will make a push for playing time if he continues to improve during the spring and preseason. Freshman Jeff Brady, (East Aurora, N.Y./St. Francis) will get more reps in the spring as his continues to get comfortable with the Blue & White’s schemes.

Two freshmen, Joe Bates and Anthony Fiorillo, joined the team just prior to the spring session. The coaching staff is impressed with their progress but the duo are still learning the position and the defense. Senior Jordan Good (Bexley, Ohio/Bexley) has been out in the spring due to an injury suffered late last season.



Defensive Back: Senior Ayo Falae (Newark, N.J./Barringer) is the lone returning starter in the Hawk defensive backfield. Last season he was fourth on the team in tackles with 48 takedowns, while recording two pass breakups, an interceptions and a blocked kick. The conerback has shown considerable leadership on the field in the spring, which is important on a team with so much young talent. Senior Marcus Shell (Westhampton, N.J./Rancocas Valley) is MU’s leading candidate to replace All-NEC corner David Jiles. Shell, who has good coverage instincts, saw action in 11 games last season as a key backup in the defensive secondary.

Senior Bryan Bischoff (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury) will compete for time at corner in the spring and preseason. Bischoff was a key defensive special teams player last season, recording 16 tackles in 10 games. Senior Brian Robinson (East Brunswick, N.J./East Brunswick) has had a very impressive spring to date. The Monmouth speedster led the Hawks in kick return yardage in 2006 but could be in the mix for a starting cornerback spot depending on how things play out leading up to the season opener. A trio of redshirt freshman in Ken Amsel (Demarest, N.J./Northern Valley Regional), Joe Arneth (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Memorial) and Jon Stolarz (Andover, N.J./Hopatcong) will also compete for playing time in the backfield. Amsel has decent cover skills and good foot speed but is surrounded by a lot of talent at the position. Arneth is a physical player who can cover well and could challenge for significant playing time this fall if not a starting spot. The coaching staff will have to wait till the summer to get a better look at Stolarz, who has successfully recovered from off-season shoulder surgery but will not be participating in contact drills during spring practice.

With the loss of both starting safeties, the position is wide open for competition. Fifth-year senior Derek Bischoff (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury) saw action in nickel situations last season and is a front runner to fill the void left by Hill and Jamaal McClintock. Stolarz could also be a surprise competitor at the safety position as well. Jay Robinson (Camden, N.J./Woodrow Wilson) has improved physically over the winter break and will compete for time at one of the two spots. Chad Tirpack (Manasquan, N.J./Wall) could be vie for a top spot in the defensive backfield depending on how he performs in the spring. Freshman Bobby Cole (Jackson, N.J./Jackson) missed all of the fall with an injury and will be using the spring to get a grasp on the defensive schemes. Cole brings a physical presence to the Hawks and could be in the mix for significant playing time in the fall. Freshman Matt Walsh (Red Bank, N.J./Middletown South) moved from corner to safety and will use the spring to learn his new responsibilities.

Junior Gary Michalowski (Hockessin, Del./Charter School) and seniors Neal Haynes and Nick Schneider (Middlesex, N.J./Middlesex) will add depth to the Hawk defensive backfield and will be looking to make an impression on the coaching staff this spring.



Check back to www.GoMUHawks.com for a breakdown of the Monmouth special teamers. The Hawks wrap up the spring season with their annual Blue & White Spring game on Sunday, April 22. Admission is free, with kickoff starting at 12 noon.







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7:46 PM, April 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tony what do u think of the up comming season, with monmouth winning 3 out of the last 4 nec championships and many players and leaders of that run have now left, escpecially the loss of boland and 9 out of 11 defense starters leaving who played together for 2 straight years, will monmouth have a sub par season, or will they surprise once again and climb to the top of the confernce?

9:13 PM, April 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have faith that the MU defense will continue to be among the top in the conference again. although there are so few starters returning these guy that will be earning starting positions have learned from the best and had time to watch and learn the plays from those who came before them. LET'S GO HAWKS!!!!

10:00 PM, April 18, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

While Boland will be hard to replace I think the bigger issue is the defense. If it matures quickly, and that may not be realistic, but if it happens, I think MU will contend again in the NEC...

Callahan was very high on all these frosh - most of whom red-shirted - when they came in last year...

12:35 AM, April 19, 2007  

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