From Staff Reports
Navarro College will show off its revamped defense and several newcomers in its annual spring game at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Tiger Stadium.
The No. 1 offenses and defenses will face off against each other in the final scrimmage of the spring. Admission if free.
Head Coach Brian Mayper added veteran high school coach Scott Joseph as defensive coordinator in mid-February and Bulldog veterans and newcomers have adapted well during the team’s 20-practice spring schedule.
Joseph, most recently defensive coordinator at Katy Seven Lakes and formerly the head coach at Houston Westbury, has installed an aggressive defense that will feature two new faces in defensive end Quincy Vasser (6-4, 230) and tackle-end Desmond Owino (6-5, 235), two more in a long line of exciting mid-term enrollees.
“(Owino) is playing more inside and he’s got a chance to be really good,” Mayper said. “He only played one year of high school ball and then a year at Hargrave (Military Academy). He’s got those long arms and can do some damage as a defensive lineman on the inside, but he could also play on the outside.
“Vasser has shown some real flashes of being great and then some days where he is just OK. When he puts together some consistency, he could really be a great player.”
Joseph lends an intensity and a mixture of three- and four-man fronts that should wreak havoc on the Southwest Junior College Football Conference, according to Mayper.
“His defensive style will allow us to put more speed on the field,” Mayper said. “He also does a great job of disguising who he is bringing (on the pass rush). We’re going to be putting a lot of pressure on the other teams’ offense with this defense.
“Our kids have been working hard on the transition with the defense. Anytime you are installing a new defense, it takes time getting them to learn it well enough that it becomes second nature that the incoming freshmen will be able to learn from them this fall.”
Navarro’s offense will continue to be explosive in 2013 thanks to the continued development of running back Tim Wright and wide receiver Markiel Steward-Gillespie (6-5, 210), both of whom have become prime recruiting targets this spring.
The quarterback picture is a bit unsettled, though in a positive way. University of Alabama-Birmingham transfer Josh Greer (6-4, 215) and Dangerfield product Alex Allen (6-3, 200) have split time evenly this spring and both are vying for the starting job.
“(Greer) has picked up the offense well this spring,” Mayper said. “There are a lot of principles in our offense that are the same that he used in high school. He’s a pocket guy with a strong arm.
“Alex has had a great spring, too. It’s been a really good battle.”
Both Allen and Greer have had to be quick studies. Navarro will likely pick up its offense pace in the fall, much like the offenses of Oklahoma States, Oregon and Texas A&M.
“We’ve really worked on the tempo of our offense,” Mayper said. “We’ve looked at how other programs have done things and we’re adopting some of their principles into our offensive system. We plan to keep defenses guessing in the fall.”