BRENHAM, Texas — The Blinn College football team will feature an explosive offense and aggressive defensive as competition kicks off this spring.
“We have a lot of talent and experience on both sides of the ball,” head coach Ryan Mahon said. “We have a chance to be very explosive on offense and will be a fun product to watch. We are going to be really aggressive on defense and are going to work for everything that we get.”
Last year, the NJCAA postponed football competition until the Spring semester due to the pandemic.
“It has been over 500 days since the last time we actually played a game, so we are really excited to get out there,” Mahon said. “We have good leadership across the board with our returners and transfers that will help bring our incoming freshmen along really quickly. This is a team that plays together, plays for each other, and is going to fight through everything.”
On the offensive side, University of Southern Mississippi transfer Chandler Rogers (Mansfield) will be the starting quarterback. During his high school career, Rogers passed for 2,233 yards, rushed for 1,176 yards, and scored 34 touchdowns en route to leading Mansfield Lake Ridge to an appearance in the third round of the state playoffs. He was ranked as the No. 45 dual-threat quarterback in the country.
With the addition of Kansas State University transfer Chris Herron (Houston), Louisiana Tech University transfer Jakson Thomson (Dallas), and incoming freshman Logan McDougald (Cypress) the Buccaneers will be strong in the pocket.
“We have a lot of talent at the quarterback position, and each player brings different things to the table,” Mahon said. “Each quarterback has a great deal of experience in the leadership role, and they have all been playmakers from where they came from. We will see more quarterback run game than we have in the past.”
Juan Quezada (Austin) and Michael Gibson II (Houston) will anchor the offensive line as returners. Last season, Quezada earned second-team all-conference honors after seeing action in five games, while Gibson saw action in two games.
New to the offensive line are University of Alabama transfer Rowdy Garza (Abilene), Oklahoma State University transfer Trent Pullen (Waco), Prairie View A&M University transfer Arundel Briggs (Waxahachie), and incoming freshmen Carson Rogers (Katy) and Brien Taylor (Houston).
“This is probably the best offensive line we have had since I have been here,” Mahon said. “They have a great deal of experience and have great position chemistry. They are all best friends and do everything together.”
New faces will make up the wide receiver corps in University of Tulsa transfer Imiee Cooksey (Fort Worth), University of Houston transfer Henry Thomas (Fort Bend), U.S. Air Force Academy transfer Taurean Muhammad (Katy), and incoming freshmen Chase Davidson (Houston), Jackson Mueller (Brenham), and Dameon Gomes (Mansfield).
“We have a similar receiving crew as in years past and they have a great deal of potential,” Mahon said. “They have the ability to do a lot of the things our sophomores did for us in 2019, so it is going to be really exciting to see what kind of playmakers they become.”
Tristan Canales (Odem) returns at the running back position after rushing for 68 yards on seven carries in one game last year.
University of South Florida transfer Joshua Berry (Haines City, Fla.) and incoming freshmen Terrance Keyes Jr. (Massilon, Ohio) and Brendon Holmes (Houston) join Blinn as running backs.
“They are a very tough and gritty bunch,” Mahon said. “They can beat you with their speed, but also run over you.”
On defense, Blinn’s secondary consists of returners Ben Langston (The Woodlands), Julius Wood (Columbus, Ohio), Jordan Lamotte (Katy), Lonterrious McClain (Brenham), and Hayden Allen (Brenham).
Langston ranked second on the team with 52 tackles and led the Buccaneers with four interceptions in nine games, while Wood totaled 36 tackles in nine games and Lamotte totaled 20 tackles in eight games. McClain totaled three tackles, had one interception, and broke up one pass in two games. Allen totaled two tackles and recovered one fumble in three games.
The Buccaneers’ secondary will also feature University of Louisiana at Lafayette transfer Jude Joseph (Lafayette, La.), University of Houston transfer Torey Richardson (Tomball), Jones County Junior College transfer Preston Suttice (Dallas), and incoming freshmen Antoine Johnson Jr. (Conyers, Ga.), Jason Kerl Jr. (Fort Worth), and Keion Bennett (Schertz).
“The secondary is definitely our strong point on defense and probably our most talented position group,” Mahon said. “The returners have great leadership skills and our newcomers are high-expectation kids. We are looking to lean heavily on them on defense.”
Linebackers Jared Esparza (Gonzales) and Amadi Thomas (Missouri City) return for the Buccaneers. Esparza was fourth on the team with 39 tackles in eight games, while Thomas totaled six tackles in three games.
Iowa Western Community College transfer Jamir Thomas (Massilon, Ohio) and incoming freshmen Cedric Smith (Longview), Devin Benson (Houston), and Joshua Payne-Morgan (Slidell, La.) will join them at the position.
“All of these guys work hard every day, and are very steady and consistent,” Mahon said.
Returner Bryton Thompson (Harker Heights) and Texas A&M University-Kingsville transfer Daryl French (Sinton) will bring experience to the defensive line, while incoming freshmen Jaymian Simon (Katy) and Will Prendergast (Prosper) will strengthen it.
Last year, Thompson totaled 24 tackles, two sacks, and forced one fumble in seven games.
“They are great playmakers and are so consistently good,” Mahon said.
On special teams, punter Nickalos Falsone (San Antonio), who made a 51-yard punt in one game last year, returns, while University of Texas at El Paso transfer Erik Michel (Richmond) will join him at the position. Incoming freshman Collin Brown (Austin) will be the team’s deep snapper and John Villalobos (Houston, Texas) will be the kicker.
“All of these guys are going to be great, tremendous playmakers for us on special teams and we have to count on them heavily,” Mahon said.
Blinn will open the 2020-21 season on the road against No. 4 Kilgore College today at 3 p.m.
“Offensively, we are going to be as quick as we have been in the past, and defensively we will be stronger because we have good sophomore leadership, Mahon said. “We compete in a tough conference, but we are hoping to stack up enough wins to be the champion and take it from there.”