Wednesday, September 1, 2010

CMU secondary confident heading into new season

By Anthony Fenech, Senior Reporter || September 01, 2010

If football is a game won between the ears, rather than between the lines as some suggest, then the Central Michigan secondary is already winning.

“We have a lot of confidence back there,” said sophomore defensive back Jahleel Addae. “Defense is a mentality, that’s all it is.”

And if Addae’s words ring true, the Chippewas’ secondary is going to have one mean mentality.

“We want to be labeled as big hitters,” he continued. “When the ball is in the air, go get the ball and put fear into the receiver’s hearts and then showcase our passion for the game on the field.”

It’s that kind of passion that has Addae, who played on special teams in all 14 games last season, entering this season as a key component in a secondary that lost significant manpower over the offseason.

Gone is cornerback Josh Gordy, who signed a free agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Also gone from the defensive backfield are Tommy Mama, Eric Fraser, Kirkston Edwards and D.J. Scott.

And with the combination of a strong defensive line and one-two punch at linebacker with seniors Nick Bellore and Matt Berning, CMU’s cornerbacks and safeties are sure to get tested in 2010.

“It’s more motivation,” said senior cornerback Vince Agnew, one of the leader of the team’s secondary. “We can’t plateau. Every year needs to peak better than the year before.”

Agnew, who was named defensive MVP in last January’s GMAC Bowl after blocking a Troy field goal attempt in the second overtime, recorded 35 tackles last season.

“We have a whole new swagger in the core,” Agnew said. “And we plan on bringing that every single game.”
Opposite Agnew will be fellow senior Bobby Seay, who finished fourth on the team in tackles last year, and recorded 11 in the GMAC Bowl victory.

Also figuring to find time in the secondary are sophomores Lorenzo White and LaVarus Williams, as well as Cincinnati freshman Avery Cunningham, who has performed well in the spring at safety.

“It’s like studying for a test,” Addae said. “We have to come in during the week, prepare for the team and come out and execute. Whenever the test comes, you have to pass it.”

And in passing, the unit looks to do some intimidating.

“We’re out ready,” he said. “Like a bunch of raging dogs ready to take whatever’s ours.”

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