"We want to be aggressive," said the second-year defensive line coach of the Bobcats. "We want to keep up the pressure on the offense."
The Bobcats play a four-man front and have two players with game experience listed as probable starters.
At left end will be Anthony Wilson (6-3, 230) out of Midfield High School in Birmingham, Ala. Wilson signed with Southern Miss out of high school and has already re-committed to the Golden Eagles.
Leading the way at left tackle will be Derrek Upshaw (6-2, 270), from McIntosh County Academy in Darien, Ga. Upshaw played in 11 games at Middle Tennessee State University last year as a freshman, but has now transferred to JCJC. He recorded nine tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss for the Blue Raiders.
"Anthony is my left end and does a great job," said Maddox. "He has great speed off the outside and is playing well for us. Derrek is a big, stout guy. He is a quick guy with a high motor. He has been at a senior college, so he knows the tempo of playing at another level."
Rounding out the line will be freshman Antonio Ducksworth (6-0, 285) of Bassfield at right tackle and freshman Jadarius Garner (6-2, 230) of Clarksdale at right end.
"Antonio sat out last year, but he walked on here and has earned a scholarship," Maddox said. "Jadarius is an aggressive player and loves playing the game."
Providing depth will be four more freshmen – Shaquille Smith (6-2, 260) of Jackson Lanier and Lazarius Chase (6-0, 240) of Hollandale Simmons at the ends and Kadarian Moore (6-2, 270) of Stringer and Cameron McLeod (6-3, 285) of Greene County at the tackles.
"Those four guys are pushing the starters," said Maddox. "We have some good competition there and hopefully they will compete well when they come into a game."
Maddox realizes his group is young, but he has confidence in their ability.
"They are working hard every day," said Maddox, who was a member of the 1998 undefeated JCJC team and played professionally for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans. "They are trying to get better and I believe they are. That's what you look for at this level, guys who want to improve and play well.
"I can tell you that these guys do not mind hard work."
The Bobcats open the season at home at 7 p.m. on Sept. 1 in Bobcat Stadium/Sim Cooley Field against Mississippi Delta Community College. The game will be televised on www.jcjc.tv and can be heard on WGDQ-FM, 93.1. Lance Pittman will call the play-by-play and Mark Easley provides commentary.
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