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Grambling Striving for Strong Finish
Grambling, La. - Rod Broadway made Grambling State a winner again.
An 8-4 overall record and a Southwestern Athletic Conference Western Division crown made Broadway’s debut season as coach a successful one. But losses to Southern in the Bayou Classic, followed by a loss to Jackson State in the SWAC title game, sapped some of the joy of it.
“It wasn’t the way we wanted to finish out the season, but it does give us a goal this year of finishing what we started,” Broadway said. “It shows that a team can never be satisfied with any success that it’s had, because the success can disappear at any minute. You can enjoy the moment, but then you have to realize that there’s another game the next weekend or the next season and you have to refocus and be ready to play at your very best.
“It was a good season, but we all know it could have better.”
Remaining a winner will be tougher than initially thought.
Only several months ago, Brandon Landers figured to be back and leading the club’s multipurpose offense. The former Monroe Carroll High School star had enjoyed a solid spring after passing for 2,603 yards and 18 touchdowns last year.
But academic woes cost Landers his eligibility. Same story for Larry Kerlegan, a wide receiver who had started his GSU career at quarterback and could have been moved back to his original position.
Now, the task of leading the Tigers may fall on untested players such as sophomore Greg Dillion of Bogalousa, freshman Frank Edwards of Shreveport, redshirt freshman Tonie Spears of Biloxi, Miss., or maybe even junior Larry Donnell of Ozark, Ala. Donnell was signed as a quarterback by the Tigers before being moved to tight end last spring.
Combine the loss of Landers and Kerlegan with the fact that All-SWAC and record-setting wide receiver Clyde Edwards has finished his college career and the Tigers find themselves in somewhat of a renovation mode.
“We will all have to do our part and make a contribution,” said sophomore running back Frank Warren, who led the Tigers in rushing with 901 yards and was chosen as the conference’s top freshman in 2007. “It will have to be a team effort and everybody helping out. We have the talent to be successful again.”
While Edwards is gone, wideouts Nick Lewis, Terrance Dunn and Kovarus Hills are all back. Lewis had 13 catches for 274 yards and three touchdowns and Hills had 19 caches for 299 yards and a score last year.
The defensive unit that recorded a shutout and allowed fewer than 10 points in five games last year returns one of the SWAC’s top linemen in Christian Anthony, a 6-4 and 245-pound junior end who has the potential to move on to the nest level.
A former all-state player at Birmingham’s Carver High, Anthony ranked No. 3 in the NCAA’s Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) and No. 1 for the SWAC in caused fumbles with six and was a devastating blitzer.
“We are excited about another season getting started,” said Broadway, who will lead his club into an Aug. 30 opener at the University of Nevada. “But we can’t ever feel that we are satisfied with what we’ve done. It’s all about getting better.”
If the Tigers do that, they could find themselves suiting up for another return to the SWAC championship game.
Grambling striving for strong finish
The Associated Press c/o The Bastrop Daily Enterprise (LA)