Jarrett Carter, Sr. writes about HBCU football at HBCU digest. Follow him on Twitter here.â†µ
The 2010 edition of the Morehouse College Maroon Tigers will be all about replacements. The Tigers have never had a losing season in three years under head coach Rich Freeman, and have never lost more than four games in a season during his tenure.â†µ
But with significant departures among the SIAC’s elite teams, 2010 brings a “now-or-never” urgency to replace the Tigers’ complacency with championship contention. Fans should reasonably expect MC to challenge for its first SIAC football title since its share of the crown in 2001 with Fort Valley State and Tuskegee.â†µ
Morehouse finished fourth in the overall conference standings and fourth in total defense. What they did not have in solid offense, they made up for in a turnover-creating pass defense that finished the year with 17 interceptions -- three returned for touchdowns.â†µ
MC returns much of its top-five defense from a season ago. They boast the conference’s best linebacker in junior Charlie Wilson (7.5 sacks, four INTs in '09) and one of the conference’s best running backs in sophomore David Carter (677 rushing yards, seven TDs).â†µ
They also feature the best special teams unit in the conference, returning all-conference place kicker and punter Ian Mullen (14-19 FGs in 09’) and a kickoff return unit that led the conference with an averaged 23.7 yards per return last year.â†µ
Quarterback is still in question at the 'House. William Brack (Six passing TDs, 10 INTs in 09’) will likely be replaced by senior DaJuan Thigpen (371 yards, Four TDs, Two INTs), who has just 55 career snaps for MC but saw extended action in the second half of last season. Morehouse will also need to find replacements for NFL draftee and all-SIAC lineman Ramon Harewood and all-SIAC second team receiver Achille Hendje, whose six touchdown receptions accounted for more than half of the team’s scoring output in the category.