AKRON: Rams looking to maintain success
Wed. August 22, 2012 at 10:00 p.m. | By Reed Robinson
AKRON | For the Akron Rams, the main focus of the 2012 football season is rebuilding the team's depth.
The Rams' 2011 season was nothing short of a success. They finished at 7-4 and, for the first time in 20 years, made the playoffs.
The Rams, who lost veteran quarterback Donald Anderson, are looking for an underclassman to take his place. Among the candidates are freshman Johnny Tubbs and sophomore Laderius Hayes.
"Johnny is learning everything about the game. He is very composed. Hayes was a backup last year, so he has a little bit more experience," coach Richard Bevill said.
The Rams have lost more than a quarterback, though. Scott McCugh, who was an assistant coach as well as the weight room manager, has also departed. Bevill has begun recruiting volunteers to assist him. Among those are Scott Walker, who will be the defensive coordinator, and running backs coach James Eatmon.
The Rams have to recover from the loss of leading rusher Kion Taylor, who died in a car accident last Oct. 14.
"Kion was more than a player. He was a member of our family and one of the biggest leaders on the field," Bevill said.
"It was the biggest blow to our team. We only had one win after his death."
With the losses of Taylor and Anderson, the Rams' offense will be looking for leaders. With seven returning starters, Akron is confident in its defense.
"Our defense is good," Bevill said. "If you have a good defense, offense will come as well."
Quin Jeffries, a senior, will be trusted at several positions, including defensive back, wide receiver and possibly even quarterback.
Nicholas Nickerson, a junior and three-year starter, will be very crucial as both a defensive tackle and as an offensive tackle.