#19 Bethune-Cookman FCS Football 2012 Preview

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats

Overall Rank: #19
Bethune-Cookman FCS College Football 2012 Team Preview
Bethune-Cookman Team Page


Bethune-Cookman could not quite recapture the magic of the 2010 campaign when Coach Brian Jenkins led the Wildcats to a playoff berth during his first year at the program. But there was a little rebuilding to be done in 2011 and this was a team that was still getting used to the new schemes brought in by Coach Jenkins. The Wildcats still managed to finish with an 8-3 record and a 6-2 mark in MEAC play, so it is not like they dropped off the radar. Heading into year three of the Coach Jenkins era has brought back those high hopes.

2011 Record: (8-3, 6-2)
2011 Postseason: None
Coach: Brian Jenkins (18-5 at Bethune-Cookman, 18-5 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Jim Pry
Defensive Coordinator: Charles Jones

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Isidore Jackson, RB, 866 yards
Passing: Jackie Wilson, QB, 920 yards
Receiving: Eddie Poole, WR, 421 yards
Tackles: Jarkevis Fields, LB, 76
Sacks: Anthony Woodard, DE, 3.5
Interceptions: D.J. Howard, S, 3

Other Key Returnees: OL Terrance Hackney, CB Dion Hanks, RB Anthony Jordan, DT Harold Love, OL Alex Monroe, TE Jordan Murphy, OL Marquell Rozies, RB Rodney Scott, DT Tevin Toney

Key Losses: C Natiel Curry, DE Ryan Davis, S Jean Fanor, WR Mauri Francois, LB Ryan Lewis, CB Daniel Rhodes, QB Jamarr Robinson, LB Reggie Sandilands, S Michael Williams

The strength of the high powered Bethune-Cookman offense is the ground game. And that will be even more so this year with the addition of offensive coordinator Jim Pry, who is best known for his powerful ground attacks. Isidore Jackson will likely get the bulk of the carries again after rushing for 866 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011, but the Wildcats have plenty of other options depending on the situation. Rodney Scott is a fine backup to Jackson and rushed for 563 yards on 108 carries last season. Anthony Jordan is a big, 6-0, 220 pound back and is the touchdown vulture. Nine of his 50 carries went for touchdowns. Quarterback Jackie Wilson can do plenty of damage with his legs too and that helped Bethune-Cookman rank fifth in the entire nation with 259.27 rushing yards per game. Wilson tallied 357 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. In the air he totaled 920 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions. Wilson never completely took control of the starting job under center with Jamarr Robinson and David Blackwell seeing some action as well. Robinson is gone and Blackwell will likely spend most of his time at wide receiver, occasionally lining up in the shotgun to mix up the defense. Eddie Poole will be Wilson’s top target again this year and tight end Jordan Murphy is a quality target as well, but some young receivers need to step up and provide some more threats down the field. But this team will stick to the ground and a talented offensive line, led by Terrance Hackney, Alex Monroe and Marquell Rozies, should have Bethune-Cookman back among the top rushing teams in the nation.

The Wildcats defense played very well in 2011, but there are some major pieces to replace. The front should be strong in the middle, but sack master Ryan Davis is gone. Davis tallied 12.0 sacks, 21.5 tackles-for-loss and 17 quarterback hurries. Those will be impossible numbers to replace, although Anthony Woodard will give it a try. Linebackers Ryan Lewis and Reggie Sandilands were no strangers to the opposing backfield during their senior seasons. Those two combined for 21.5 tackles-for-loss. The good news is middle linebacker Jarkevis Fields is back. He led the Wildcats with 76 tackles and will have to take on a larger role this year while the new starters fill in around him. The secondary will need to break in a couple new starters as well and lose some of their quality depth. D.J. Howard is a fine safety and a great piece to build around and he could get help from cornerback Dion Hanks. However, the secondary that was so strong last year could have a much tougher time if Bethune-Cookman fails to get consistent pressure on the quarterback.

The Bottom Line:
Bethune-Cookman may need some time to develop some new stars on defense, but this is a team that has more depth across the board than they did during Coach Jenkins’ first two years at the helm. And while the defense works out their kinks, the offense can ride the talented crop of running backs. And within a few weeks, Coach Jenkins will have his defense playing pretty good football and the offense will only get better as Wilson gains confidence and consistency in the passing game. However, Bethune-Cookman does not have much time to get things rolling as they head to South Carolina State in week two.

Projected Postseason: FCS Playoffs

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 259.27 (5th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 176.00 (80, 7)
Total Offense: 435.27 (12, 1)
Scoring Offense: 33.91 (15, 1)
Rushing Defense: 132.64 (28, 4)
Pass Defense: 174.45 (14, 2)
Total Defense: 307.09 (15, 4)
Scoring Defense: 20.18 (23, 3)
Turnover Margin: .82 (20, 3)
Sacks: 2.55 (22, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 2.36 (75, 7)

Madness 2012 FCS Football Recruit Rankings:
#32 Tyree Smallwood
#45 Terry Harden
#48 Ray Martin