2011 SEASON OUTLOOK
With its 41-3 victory against Richmond in the 2010 regularseason finale at Zable Stadium, the Tribe secured the program’s eighth conference championship and the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Playoffs.
The numbers speak for themselves – 208 career wins, nine NCAA Playoff appearances, four conference titles and a graduation rate that consistently measures among the top programs in the nation. Simply put, in his 32 seasons on the sideline at his alma mater, William and Mary Head Coach Jimmye Laycock has created an unsurpassed STANDARD OF SUCCESS for the Tribe program. In 2011, this standard will be put to the test against the high expectations that come with the return of 13 starters from a unit that captured the Colonial Athletic Association title a year ago. The squad will enter the fall as the preseason selection to defend its CAA crown, according to a vote of the league’s coaches and media, while nearly every preseason publication has the Tribe tabbed in its national top five among the FCS ranks. These lofty expectations are founded in the fact that the core of the Tribe’s returnees have been battle tested after earning back-to-back NCAA Playoff appearances. In fact, the rising senior class has already put together 26 wins in the last three years, equaling the most successful three-year run in school history (1992-94). The College’s four-year record for wins stands at 34, set by a Darren Sharper-led group from 1993-96. Clearly, the team’s most visible returnee is two-time Payton Award candidate, senior tailback Jonathan Grimes. He comes into the season as the Preseason CAA Offensive Player of the Year and is looking to put an exclamation point on a career that has already seen him earn a league-record tying eight all-conference honors. Returning first-team all-conference tight end Alex Gottlieb also figures to have a significant impact on the offensive side of the ball and joins Grimes as a serious contender for All-America honors. Senior center and team quad-captain James Pagliaro also comes into the year as a preseason all-conference selection and will look to key what promises to be a standout front five for the Tribe. When it comes to orchestrating the attack, all eyes will be looking towards supremely talented se2
2010 CAA CHAMPIONS
nior quarterback Michael Paulus. After a year shortened by injuries, Paulus will come into the fall healthy and looking to place himself among the elite players in the nation. While the offense has traditionally been the signature of Laycock’s long and successful tenure, the Tribe’s defense has been in the headlines of late. The College figures to have reloaded at the top position with the promotion of long-time assistant Scott Boone to defensive coordinator, as he replaces the author of the unit’s recent run of success, Bob Shoop. Beyond Boone, one of the team’s other most noticeable additions is the return of former all-conference middle linebacker Jake Trantin. His addition moves Dante Cook (second-team All-CAA linebacker in ‘10) back to his more natural outside position playing alongside junior Jabrel Mines. The trio will bring both experience and athleticism to the field and should give the Tribe one of the top linebacker corps in the conference. The same will be true for the defensive backfield, which will have three of the four starters returning, anchored by returning first-team allconference cornerback B.W. Webb. Webb, who has earned a total of five all-conference honors in just two years, has the potential to be one of the top cover corners in the FCS world. The College will rely on the return of the seasoned senior duo of defensive end Marcus Hyde and tackle Harold Robertson to hold down a talented, but youth dominated, front four. Hyde, a team quad-captain, is a returning all-conference selection with the ability to become one the league’s premier rush ends. The late-season emergence of sophomore Drake Kuhn in 2010 as a consistent placekicker gives the special teams area a needed boost heading into the fall. One priority for the staff in the preseason camp will be identifying a replacement for All-American punter, David Miller. W&M should be outstanding at both return specialist positions, as Webb (punt) and Grimes (kick) both come back as multiple time all-conference honorees. WWW.TRIBEATHLETICS.COM
Published on Aug 8, 2011