Jump to content
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt

2022 Spring Football

Recommended Posts

48 minutes ago, AtlantaTiger said:

Selfishly, I would love to see TU schedule more OOC games with schools down south to make it easier to get to a game. Why not look at getting games with Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Furman, Chattanooga, Kennesaw St., etc......could help expand the brand and our recruiting base.

Those schools would play each other. Or the two gsus would Rather get paid by sec acc teams. 
morgan and bucknell are cheap close games. And more important (to the coach in charge. Sigh), winnable 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Spring Practice Football Update #1

Out there today in the cold weather in the morning at the new lower practice fields. Only issue I had was that my tape recorder on my phone froze up, so I didn't get RA's comments down. However, from what I remember, I asked about pleasant surprises and he pointed out freshman receiver Isaiah Perkins (6-2, 205), who is wearing one of Kobe Young's number (19). The other was S Evan Rutkowski (6-2, 200), Ryan's kid brother who has moved to safety.

It's difficult to get a gage on a team with so many players coming in the summer. You look at the list below and many of the transfers are not here. Ralph Pagie Jr., a center from Merrimack, was the only player from that list below who was here. So O-line was a mess with no Jean Germain (injury), Cole Cheripko (off-season surgery) and then LG Alex Desire was hurt in the scrimmage and carted off, though apparently not serious (probably an ankle). So they had Paige at center, Mathias Adjinbrauk (6-3, 325) at left tackle, Roma Warheit at right tackle and big sophomore Ricky Santiago Espinal (6-6, 345) at right guard. I would expect that Josh Roberts, the Lafayette transfer, moves right into left tackle. Will have at least two more offensive line transfers. If Paige does well, they could move Cheripko to guard and at least you have experience with Warheit, Desire, and Germain at the other spots, though I assume they get a right tackle.

While that's a very important part as is running back, nothing matters until they find a quarterback. Tyler Johnston (UAB transfer) showed some promise and made one really bad throw over the middle, but his ability to run in the spread makes him very valuable. As I've said many times. with his injury history, I assume they would add another veteran QB.

But while last season, Chris Ferguson may or may not have been the best quarterback to do the job, I think if Johnston gets the job, freshmen Scott Smith and Nathan Kent will be much better options. Smith was very impressive in the scrimmage with his touch and at 6-4, 210, he showed surprising ability to run. But I was impressed last summer in very few reps as fourth or fifth quarterback. Today he was in the mix in the top three with Amendola and Kent. I threw some really tight throws including one that was dropped about 40 yards downfield (I believe by a walk-on). But if our O-line was fine and Johnston was injured, I'd be fine with him leading the offense even though I do prefer a dual-threat guy. But Smith was excellent today. Johnston was solid and his throws aren't as tight as Smith, but he usually gets it there and he runs like Enders with a bit of speed and a lot of power. Was hoping to see dual-threat freshman QB Richon Holmes (6-1, 205), but he was not out there. I assume he redshirts unless he has an incredible summer.

At running back, Folley impressed but then was nicked up late. It's hard not to like D'Ago Hunter, but he can't last at running back at 5-6, 160 and is so good as a return man. Didn't see a lot of Curtis Murray, the Maine transfers, who was hurt last season. Hoping they can add two more backs. Definitely need a prime back like a Jerry Howard and a speedster. If the season started today, I would say Folley (if healthy) and Devin Matthews are the top two backs.

At receiver, Jabari Allen made an incredible catch in the end zone and he looks healthy. It's just a shame he was injured in Flacco's last season and then the QB issues didn''t help last year. Darian Street, Perkins, Daniel Thompson, Matthew Akuchie (FAU transfer) are solid. We could probably use another burner or two. What we really need is a tight end. Malik Jackson (Maryland) and Devin Gill (Ventura College) will arrive in the summer. 

On defense, I think the line will be ok. RA mentioned that Jesus Gibbs was in great shape after his Achilles' tendon surgery and should be ready for summer camp. He was a huge loss in the middle of the season last year. Mason Cholewa was also playing with all sorts of injuries and it probably didn't help that he played in the spring with JMU. With those guys gone, Vinnie Shaffer was back at nose guard and had an impressive pick-six from about 50 yards. Tramar Reece (6-4, 270) was playing OLB with Oly Okombi, Shaffer and Bryce Lauer, who is a stout 280 now at 6-3. There should be a lot of depth there, but who is going to rush the passer? Another late addition will be Makye Smith (6-1, 240) from Stony Brook. He has five sacks last season and I would expect him to play more on the edge. We are supposed to get a transfer in VMI sophomore-to-be Kandler Martin (6-2, 250), who had 35 tackles, 5 TFLs and one sack as a freshman.

Linebacker is a position I expect at least one transfer to replace Christian Dixon, though RA seems to really like Mason Woods (6-0, 235), a freshman who saw very little time last season, but was a 3* coming out of Gar-Field in Virginia. Ryan Kearney and Sam Alsheimer are also in the mix in the middle. I didn't see Daniel Benjamin, the speedy freshman from the fall. Jamal Gay (6-0, 210) moved from safety to the SAM spot to replace Keyvone Bruton, Time will tell if that move works out. But it makes some sense since that position has basically become a bandit where you need guys that can cover in 3 and 4 WR sets. At CB, Makai Self, the Penn State transfer and Charles Peoples along with Jirhe Love were the main guys along with DJ Partt. Again, I see at least one transfer thee. Not sure I want Peoples as my No. 1 corner. Robert Topps impressed at safety. That's another spot where I see a transfer who can play right away will come in.




Devin Gill – Tight End – 6-4, 240 – Sophomore – Annandale, Va./Ventura College
From the Northern Virginia area comes Gill after a year at Ventura College in California as a tight end.  Previous to Ventura and Fork Union, Gill was a football and basketball standout at Annandale High, earning 2018 All-Gunston District Second Team at each quarterback and utility.

Dumkele Idehen – Linebacker – 6-0, 215 – Freshman – Fort Mill, S.C./Indian Land H.S.
The 2021 Lancaster County (S.C.) Player of the Year will suit up for Towson after earning 166 tackles for Indian Land High this past season, averaging 18.4 tackles a contest.  He played in the North-South All-Star game at linebacker in Myrtle Beach, earning All-South Carolina recognition.  He also was a track standout as one of the best in the 200-meter and 400-meter dash in the area.
Malik Jackson – Tight End – 6-3, 230 – Redshirt Sophomore – Laurel, Md./University of Maryland
Jackson becomes the second University of Maryland tight end to transfer to Towson in the last two years, following Robert Schwob.  Jackson played in seven games from 2019-21 for the Terrapins after a high school career at Meade where he was a three-star recruit and No. 1 tight end in the state of Maryland by 247Sports.
Tyler Johnston III – Quarterback – 6-2, 215 – Graduate Student – Spanish Fort, Ala./University of Alabama-Birmingham
After leading UAB to a pair of Conference USA championships, Johnson III will play his final collegiate year with the Tigers.  A two-year starting quarterback for the Blazers, Johnston III played in 37 collegiate games, earning 4,837 career passing yards, 37 passing touchdowns and 666 rushing yards.  A three-star recruit by 247Sports.com out of Spanish Fort High, he led the Toros to a pair of state titles and a perfect 35-0 record, being a top-50-ranked dual-threat QB in the country.
Ethan MacNair – Outside Linebacker – 6-0, 200 – Freshman – Somerville, N.J./Somerville H.S.
From the Garden State comes MacNair, the Somerville High standout who led the Pioneers to a Group 3 state playoff semifinal and eight victories in 2021.  Named one of the top linebackers in the state by NJ.com, MacNair earned 2021 First Team All-Area honors at running back, including having a 300-yard rushing game against St. Joseph.
Tommy Nelson – Running Back – 5-7, 175 – Freshman – Eldersburg, Md./Liberty H.S.
Central Maryland's own Nelson heads east to Baltimore County to suit up for the Black & Gold.  After being a two-time all-county honoree in football and track, Nelson led Liberty High to the Maryland 2A-1A playoffs, including a 71-yard rushing touchdown against Boonsboro.  He was selected to compete in the 2021 Baltimore Touchdown Club All-Star Game, being the Metro Team MVP, and joins fellow Liberty grad Nathan Kent.

RJ Chapman – Cornerback – Freshman – 6-0, 180 – Clinton, Md. – Rock Creek Christian Academy
Roderick "RJ" Chapman comes to Towson as one of the top defensive backs from Prince George's County.  Formerly competing with the Pick Six Academy, Chapman helped Rock Creek to a 7-1 record and a No. 6-ranking in the DMV by the Washington Post this past season, including a key pick-six in a victory over McDowell.  He is also the cousin of Brandon Coleman, former New Orleans Saints.
Rishon Holmes – Quarterback – Freshman – 6-1, 195 – Baltimore, Md. – Milford Mill Academy
Charm City's own Rishon Holmes will stay in Baltimore for the Tigers.  Holmes is a three-star recruit and the No. 32-ranked prospect from the state of Maryland by 247Sports, serving as a quarterback, cornerback and returner for Milford Mill Academy.  He earned All-Baltimore County First Team in the spring of 2021 by Prep RedZone after leading the Millers to a 5-0 record, also being named to the Baltimore Touchdown Club Super 22 in 2020.
Joden Nelson – Offensive Line – Freshman – 6-4, 280 – York, Pa. – William Penn-York H.S.
Joden Nelson takes the short trek down I-83 from York to suit up for the Tigers.  Ranked a three-star recruit and top-50 prospect in the state of Pennsylvania by 247Sports, Nelson earned 2021 GameTime PA YAIAA All-Star and first team all-county status, leading York to a District 3 Class 6A title game as a starting lineman.  He is also part of Accountability For Life, the mentorship and community service program at the school.

Makye Smith – Defensive Line – Graduate Student – 6-1, 240 – Upper Marlboro, Md. – Stony Brook University
Smith will return to his home state as a graduate transfer from Stony Brook University.  A defensive lineman with the Seawolves from 2018-21, Smith amassed 90 total tackles, including 7.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss, ranking in the top-10 in the CAA in sacks in 2021 with five.  Previous to Stony Brook, Smith was a Washington Post All-Metro player at Frederick Douglass High as a team captain.

Elijah Tarlton – Defensive End – Freshman – 6-3, 235 – Chantilly, Va. – Myrtle Beach Collegiate
A three-sport standout in high school in football, track and lacrosse 

Ralph Paige Jr. – Offensive Line – 6-3, 305 – Redshirt Sophomore – Washington, D.C./Merrimack College
Paige Jr. returns to the DMV after playing in 10 games at offensive line the past two seasons for Merrimack College.  Previous to Merrimack, Paige Jr. earned 2019 Second Team All-WCAC as a standout player at Bishop McNamara. He joins former teammate JaVaughn Faunteroy on the Tigers.

Evan Roberts – Offensive Line – 6-2, 285 – Freshman – North East, Md./Myrtle Beach Collegiate
Following a year at the Myrtle Beach Collegiate Post-Graduate Academy, Cecil County native Roberts comes west to Towson to continue his career in the home state.  A football, wrestling and track standout at North East High, he was a Hawaii Tiki Bowl invitee in 2020 plus was a regional champion shot putter in track.
Josh Roberts – Offensive Line – 6-7, 325 – Graduate Student – Virginia Beach, Va./Lafayette College
After serving as Lafayette's starting left tackle in 2021, Roberts will finish his collegiate career at Towson.  He played at Lafayette from 2018-21, playing in 19 games between left and right tackle.  The Virginia Beach-native played high school ball at Tallwood, being named 2017 All-Beach District Second Team at offensive line.
Jordan Sampson – Defensive Line – 6-4, 230 – Freshman – Severn, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti
Sampson joins the Towson ranks along with fellow St. Vincent Pallotti alumni Connor Maloney, Isaiah Perkins and Brockman Wallace.  Sampson served on the defensive line for Pallotti, helping the Panthers win five games during the 2021 campaign.
Blake White – Outside Linebacker – 6-2, 205 – Freshman – Cumberland, Md./Fort Hill H.S.
Following in path of fellow Fort Hill alum Luke Hamilton, White comes to Towson after leading the Sentinels to the Maryland 1A state title.  The 2021 Cumberland Times-News Player of the Year finished last year with 103 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 1,353 rushing yards and 21 rushing touchdowns, also being named an all-state and all-area honoree.
Riley Williams – Punter – 6-3, 210 – Sophomore – Victoria, Australia/Australian Catholic University
Williams is the first-ever Towson football student-athlete from Australia.  He has competed with ProKick Australia, which trains punters in the country for American colleges, and spent three years at Australian Catholic University.
Dan Volpe – Offensive Line – Freshman – 6-6, 305 – Colts Neck, N.J. – Colts Neck H.S.
Named a top-10 offensive lineman in the state of New Jersey by NJ.com, Dan Volpe anchored the line for Colts Neck High, leading the Cougars to the 2021 New Jersey South Group IV quarterfinal and the 2020 Shore Conference regular season title.  He is a two-time All-Shore, all-division and all-district selection, including First Team All-Division this past season.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I see Jeff Miller is still on the roster (both he and TJ are listed as No. 17). Is this correct -- Jeff is back for one more year even though he's unlikely to get playing time?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, TigerFan54 said:

I see Jeff Miller is still on the roster (both he and TJ are listed as No. 17). Is this correct -- Jeff is back for one more year even though he's unlikely to get playing time?

Not sure.My assumption is he won’t be back. He didn’t play at all in the scrimmage I watched.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, so there was really no Spring Game today, but there were about 500-600 people (mainly parents and friends) watching the team in the lower practice field scrimmage (sort of) more with scenarios like putting the ball on your own 2 or at the 40 instead of kicking off. 

Problem is the offense line is decimated due to graduation and injuries. Cole Cheripko was out as was Jean Germain. Was waiting on the left tackle from Lafayette Josh Roberts. So the depth was tested with a lot of walk-on and third-string types that probably won't be playing in the fall. That's why they couldn't go full board with a Spring Game. In that respect, you couldn't really judge how the defensive line looked, because they should have dominated and for the most part they didn't. When they didn't there were a lot of holding calls today.

So as for QBs, RA mentioned Tyler Johnston III and Scott Smith as being the top two or separating from the pack. But the question is whether they will win the job in the summer or will he bring in one more QB? My guess is there could be another QB based on one thing. TJ3 has had some injuries and is here for just one season. He definitely can make winning plays kind of similar to what Grant Enders did years ago, but would like to see a little less forcing the ball in traffic in the middle. But what he has over Smith is experience and a winning pedigree at UAB. He can also run, while Smith is very rangy at 6-4, 210 and could use some more size if he is going to run some spread option. It's certainly a better situation than last spring, because you have two guys who are capable.

Defensively, you'll see some interesting comments below about the defense. It makes you wonder if we added too many transfers last season. But read the comments below before I speak for the head coach.

On what they accomplished in the spring
We got a greater understanding of a ton of guys. Guys got reps that normally wouldn't get them. We've been so old for
so long A great evaluation. We got better schematically defensively. We graduated a bunch of older guys and assignment-wise
we got much better. The younger kids paid attention to what happened directly and how to fix it. They did a really good job.
We got more done defensively because of the injuries and we had more roster guys on defense. 

Better than I did this time a year ago, but nowhere near where it needs to be. I saw great strides from what I didn't
see a year ago. I really did. Everyone was running around in mud and seeing the same dirt. Watching these guys grow
from the fall to the spring and we saw legitimate growth. We'll re-evaluate it on tape (could add another QB but not
definitely). Been waiting a long time

I would say that Scott Smith and Tyler (Johnston) took the second half of the spring from their knowledge of the game.
Stock went up on them.

Who stood out?
Pleasantly surprised with Isaiah Perkins, a redshirt freshman receiver. It's hard mentally and physically to do what
we do. He's strong and smart, catches the ball with his hands consistently. Did better than any freshman WR I've seen in a long time.


Offensive line issues
Alex Desire, Cole Cheripko, Roman (Warheit) is hurt. We got through the spring with the least amount of offensive linemen
we've ever had. I don't have enough linemen to scrimmage fully (why he did situations).

These guys have to stay healthy, we're very deep, athletic and intelligent on the defensive line. They have fun cheering 
for each other. I haven't had too many teams like that. It's fun to be around

Mistakes, guys doing their own thing instead of doing what they were supposed to doing. We turned the ball over too much.
Kept the defense on the field too much.

Linebackers are young, but damn if they don't look good. Mason Woods is thoroughly impressive. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sad to say, but I put very little stock in RA's evaluations. Last year during summer practice he was singing Ferguson's praises, and we know how that worked out.

  • Haha 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Footer title

This content can be configured within your theme settings in your ACP. You can add any HTML including images, paragraphs and lists.

Footer title

This is an example of a list.

Footer title

This content can be configured within your theme settings in your ACP. You can add any HTML including images, paragraphs and lists.

Footer title

This content can be configured within your theme settings in your ACP. You can add any HTML including images, paragraphs and lists.