We spent some time last week looking at some of our favorite Virginia schools and their outlook for this year’s football season and now we are diving into some more!
Let’s start in Williamsburg with The Tribe at William & Mary.
ESPN, Fathead and a lot of college football pundits are ranking the Tribe pretty high. A key to their success this year will be senior running back Jonathan Grimes. Grimes is a New Jersey native who set single season records for yards and touchdowns as a high schooler. Since joining William and Mary he was named Special Teams Player of the Year for 2010 and is on the short list for The Walter Peyton Award. He’ll get some help from tight end Alex Gottlieb and some defensive support from linebacker Dante Cook. All three were selected for The Sports Network’s preseason All-America team. Gottlieb had 34 catches for 350 yards in 2010 and junior Cook blistered 111 tackles and 4 sacks. They kick off 2011-12 with an in-state matchup September 3rd at Virginia.
Closer to home at Hampden Sydney the Tigers are looking for continued performance from returning senior quarterback Travis Lane. Lane, a Mills Godwin grad, passed for 3,338 yards with 28 touchdowns and 3 rushing touchdowns in his junior year. Lane will certainly get some help from 2010 standouts Kyle Vance and Sean Cavanagh. Coach Marty Favret is a little lighter on defensive experience this year as most of his playmakers graduated after last season but he does expect big things from Benedictine alumnus August Berling at linebacker.
Things are generally sleepy in the Shenandoah Valley but last year the Dukes of James Madison left Harrisonburg to deliver a wake-up call to Virginia Darlings Virginia Tech. They beat the Hokies in a stunning 21-16 upset. They are looking for some repeat magic in their opener against the Tar Heels on September 3rd. Some other cool match-ups will be against the Spiders for the JMU Homecoming on October 1st and a cool first time meeting with Old Dominion on October 29th. They’ll be led by senior offensive lineman Roane Babington, senior safety Vidal Nelson, junior punter David Skahn, and last year’s CAA Defensive Rookie-of-the-Year, sophomore linebacker Stephon Robertson.
Three more down and many more to go! With so much football coming up and so little time left tell us: what team do you want to see in our next installment?