Defensive Outlook

The 1994 defense will be the best in Eagle Football history. The team will relentlessly pursue the football, cause turnovers, and be the best tackling team in America. Multiple fronts and stunts will be used in order to keep offenses off balance and to best utilize the talent. The coaching staff from 1993 remains mostly intact. Matt Rink returns as the coordinator as well as coaching the defensive line. Rink has coordinated the defense for three years. Jim Hartigan and Tom Inglima return as the secondary coaches. Hartigan will coach the safeties, while Inglima begins his second season as the corner coach. Jim Berg also begins his second season as the defensive line coach. New to the staff is linebacker coach John Hickey, who served as an Eagle assistant in 1988.

This year’s defensive line will be dominant. All-league returner Rik Glover (6’0”, 210) will anchor the defense. In 1993 the senior had 82 tackles and 7 sacks from his nose guard position. In 1994 Glover will mainly play defensive end in order to best utilize his pass rush ability and prevent teams from running to their tight end. He was the Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1993. The other two returning starters are senior Josh Beckett (6’5”, 305) and sophomore Ruben Vaughn (6’2”, 222). Beckett will play tackle to shut down the middle with his exceptional size and strength. Vaughn, who was a Sea View League Honorable Mention linebacker will line up over the weak side and eliminate the opponent’s weak side running game. All three returning starters will put tremendous pressure on the quarterback

The other spot on the front line is a battle among seniors Tim Pringle (5’11”, 185) and James Leonard (5’8”, 200), juniors Brian Berg (5’11”, 222), Jeff Clark (6’0”, 225), and sophomore Bryce Jackson (6’2”, 214). If Pringle does not start he will backup at defensive end and see action when Glover plays nose guard. Leonard is the quickest of all the linemen and is projected to start at nose guard. Berg was a starter on the JV team last year and can relieve some of the two-way players. Clark and Jackson are primarily offensive players, but could possibly be rotating in at tackle or 5 shade.

The pass rush specialist will be senior Kris Farris (6’8”, 285). Farris will give opposing quarterbacks problems trying to throw over him. Senior Adam Peyrebrune (6’0”, 175) and junior Chris Carney (6’5”, 205) will battle for a spot in the rotation. Players who will backup and play primarily on the JV team are juniors Alex King (5’11”, 175), Jason Levine (6’0”, 170), Brandon Sanchez (6’1”, 185) and Preston Hutchinson (6’1”, 165), and sophomore Ryan Thigpen (6’1”, 181).

Young and very athletic would best describe this year’s corners. Leading the way is returning starter Brian Griffin (5’11”, 180) He started the final six games of 1993 and now the “veteran” in a young, inexperienced group. In only six games Griffin accumulated 10 assisted tackles, 9 unassisted tackles and broke up 8 passes. A combination of great speed and attitude will make Griffin the best corner in the league.

At the other corner this is a real battle between two very skilled and enthusiastic players. Sophomore Billy Newman (5’9”, 170), last year’s Freshman Special Teams MVP, and junior David Munoz (5’10”, 160) have both seen extensive action during the Spring and Summer. They will both play a lot at right corner. Adding depth to arguably the toughest position in football will be senior Steve Gribben (5’11”, 180) and sophomore Brett Zinn (5’10”, 160). All five have been clocked under 4.8 in the 40. Among the top JV players who could see action on the Varsity are juniors Brian Meihaus (6’0”, 150), Jeff Aylor (6’1”, 160), Brad Byszewski (5’10”, 150), Jason Campbell (5’10”, 150) and George Caston (5’9”, 145).

The safety position is lead by juniors Matt Nickels (6’2”, 180) and Chris Collins (6’2”, 205) and seniors Brian Garrigan (5’11”, 180) and Ryan Kornike (6’1”, 157). All four have rotated in and out during the Summer. Collins and Garrigan are the strong safeties and will rotate because of their starting roles on offense. Korinke and Nickels both have experience at free safety and will see plenty of action at that position. Some of the backups will be juniors Gregg Pichler (6’0”, 150) and Danny Clark (6’0”, 160) and sophomore Brett Crowder (5’11”, 150). Clark is primarily an offensive player, while Pichler and Crowder will see plenty of action at the JV level. Among the JV safeties are juniors Matt Jordan (6’0”, 166), Jay Schreiber (5’11”, 157) and Adam Carrillo (5’11”, 147). Sophomore safeties are Jon Edmonds (6’0”, 170) and Billy O’Connor (5’9”, 152).

Senior Matt Lucas (5’11”, 186) is the lone returning starter at the linebacker spot. He finished with 46 tackles and ½ a sack in ‘93. Juniors Scott Sieverts (5’10”, 187) and Jeff Zaist (5’11”, 176) bring a couple of new faces from the JV squad to head up the two outside spots. Backing up these three up are seniors Colin Best (5’11”, 176) and Jarrett Rumph (5’9”, 175), and sophomore Jason Medina (5’9”, 180). Best and Rumph have JV experience, and Medina will back up Lucas in the middle. Juniors Eric Brown (6’2”, 185) and T.J. Henricks (5’8”, 190) add depth. The JV linebackers include juniors Alex King, Jason Levine, Gino Canori and Rob Taylor.