This football season can’t come fast enough for WKU fans. This coming season has much anticipated hype behind it as the Tops return Brandon Doughty for a 6th season, Leon Allen for his second year as the featured back, and a wide receiving corps that helped BD12 pass for over 4500 yards. However, what may be the most watched and the biggest cause for concern, is the defense. A squad that allowed Louisiana Tech, Florida Atlantic, and Marshall to put over 50 points on WKU is returning a load of starters, and a few additions.
Lets kick it off with the big men up front, the offensive line. WKU is returning two stand out performers from he defensive line a season ago. Ge’Monee Brown a 6’2″ 302 pound defensive tackle returns. Brown adds needed size to a historically small defensive front. Gavin Rocker who came on at the end of the season last year most notably in the Marshall victory returns as a strong pass rusher on the outside edge. With Brown and Rocker the defensive line has stout leaders who can direct younger guys stepping up. That being said, the most promising addition to this WKU defensive front is UAB transfer Jontavious Morris. Morris has already made a huge impact in the locker room and on the field. The UAB transfer is said to be the most promising member of the WKU front 4 and is possibly a pro Topper candidate at the end of the season. With Brown, Rocker, and Morris, the WKU front line is in very good hands.
Moving to the second line of defense and the linebacking corps is in good hands as well. Defensive captain and the son of WKU defensive coordinator Nick Holt returns. Holt stepped up and anchored the middle of the defense to replace the departed and Andrew Jackson, and Xavius Boyd. Holt will be joined this year by Dejon Brown and Shaq Johnson. Along with those three a new addition in Joel Iyiegbuniwe the sophomore South Warren product will be anchoring an outside spot at outside line backer come the fall. For the linebackers pass coverage was a hair rough last year, this year the Tops look to be a bit more solid on both sides of the game.
Third and final part of the WKU defense is the secondary. The often chastised, and the blunt of defensive woes is the HillToppers secondary. The loss of Cam Thomas is huge for the HillToppers, however the return of Corner Wonderful Terry and his experience he can bring to WKU defense may prove to be invaluable. Joining Terry seems to be in limbo. Last year WKU relayed of Marcus Ward, Juwan Gardner, Forrest Coleman, Prince Charles Iworah, and Brandon Leston among others. Of them Iworah and Leston bring the best possibility to the Tops secondary. While they didn’t string together an entire season of consistent play they helped WKU to a 5 game win streak and led them to their first bowl win. Whatever happens the secondary will have to step up.
Overall this season is looking up for WKU. With a lot of offense returning from last years record braking squad and the defense getting more experienced this WKU team is poised to excite in 2015.
Return to BGD tomorrow for the spring game preview, and don’t forget to visit LT Smith stadium on Saturday for the annual Red and White game.