2015 USCAA Football Preview

2015 USCAA Football Preview

The third season of football in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association will kick into high-gear this weekend as four of the five teams will see action.  Each week, the USCAA will select an offensive, defensive and special teams Player of the Week.  At the conclusion of the season, a USCAA All-Football Team will be selected by the coaches.

Here are your top five notes to know on each team starting their 2015 campaigns:

Concordia College Alabama (1-9 in 2014)

1. Has already played one game losing 34-3 to NAIA Warner University in Florida

2. James Crosby was 6-of-14 for 51 yards passing

3. A. Montgomery was the leading rusher with 12 carries for 19 yards, while Jareth Embry caught three passes for 26 yards to lead the receivers.

4. Cameron Walton had seven tackles, three for a loss, one sack, one forced fumble, one interception and one pass breakup to lead the defense.

5. Pablo Grajales hit a 22-yard field goal with 59 seconds left in the first quarter for the lone points in the game.

Williamson College of the Trades (2-6 in 2014)

Opener: Sept. 12 vs. Jersey Coast Academy (NJ)

1. Leading the way on defense will be a trio of 2014 USCAA All-Football Team members. Defensive tackle Michael Vega was second on the team in tackles and had an astounding 21.5 tackles for loss in 2014. He also was named Seaboard Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.

2. Senior LB Matt Sinex returns after securing 57 tackles in eight games last year and junior OLB Raequan Norman returns after a phenomenal rookie campaign that saw him finish with 57 tackles as well as score on an interception return, fumble return and a safety-the first time a Williamson player had done all three in the same season in school history.

3. Depth will be a test for the Mechanics as they opened pre-season camp with 40 players, which was an increase from 2014 when they opened with 34.

4. The Mechanics will play an eight-game schedule and will host six games at its field in Media, Pennsylvania.  

5. They return USCAA All-Football Team players Sinex, Vega, Norman, Dominic Marascio (OL) and Nick DiGati (LB).

Alfred State College (2-7 in 2014)

Opener: Sept. 5 vs. William Paterson (NJ)

1. First-year head coach Jared Dodson takes over for Paul Caba who retired after the end of the 2014 season.

2. The Pioneers will be looking to replace USCAA All-Football Team running back Rasheed Williams who ran for 1676 yards in nine games while scoring 16 touchdowns.

3. Both quarterbacks return for the Pioneers as Jake Bahantka threw for 681 yards and three touchdowns, while senior Ben Wilkerson threw for 533 yards and five touchdowns.

4. Senior wide receiver Erik Simmons caught a team-high 29 passes in 2014 for 394 yards and six touchdowns to lead the receiving corps.

5. The Pioneers will celebrate 20 years of football at Alfred State on October 17 in their lone USCAA matchup of the season when they host the Builders of The Apprentice School.  These teams split a pair of high-scoring affairs last year as Alfred State won 44-30 at home, while the Builders won 39-34 in Newport News, Virginia.

Iowa Wesleyan College (6-4 in 2014)

Opener: Sept. 5 at Cornell College (IA)

1. The Tigers finished 2014 with a 6-4 record and are pre-season picked fifth in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference this season.

2. Senior quarterback Caleb Huss is a returning USCAA All-Football First-Team performer after throwing for 1509 yards and 23 touchdowns last season as he completed 55% of his passes.

3. Huss was also the leading rusher for Iowa Wesleyan running for 482 yards and a team-high four touchdowns last season.

4. Nate Daniels is the top returning tackler from 2014 as he had a team-high 91 tackles, including 5.5 for a loss to earn first team All-USCAA linebacker honors.

5. Darryl Smith was a USCAA All-Football First-Team defensive back who returns this year after recording 52 tackles, 6.5 for a loss and a team-high three interceptions.

The Apprentice School (1-9 in 2014)

Opener: Sept. 5 vs. Methodist University (NC)

1. The Builders return six USCAA All-Football Team selections from 2014, including a trio of first team honorees in senior tight end Alvin Goodwyn (TE), sophomore Brandon Hampton (DB) and freshman Austin Wall (K).

2. Junior Joseph Hodge topped the team in rushing yards last year with 708 yards and five touchdowns and will return for his third campaign.

3. Sophomore Caleb Heath will take over the quarterback duties after a freshman season that saw him complete 58.5% of his passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns in five games.

4. Three of the top five tacklers return as Hampton had a team best 63 in 2014, while USCAA All-Football Second-Team member Ryan Ransom (61) and senior linebacker Travis Harris (42) join Hampton for an experienced defense.

5. The 2015 Builders will be a road-tested bunch as they play seven of their ten games away from their home of Newport News, Virginia.