Fordham's mix of talent and experience inspire confidence
This is the seventh of seven articles that preview the 2013 Patriot League teams. Fordham was not included in the poll because it will not be able to compete for the Patriot League championship and NCAA automatic bid in 2013, and its games against League members will not count towards the final standings for either team.
Last season could have taken two routes. Fordham lost three Patriot League games by eight combined points. Fordham could have been playoff bound. But for all the disappointing close defeats, there were thrilling wins, including four by one possession.
Now with a season of experience with a renewed winning culture, the Fordham Rams can only hope the lessons learned in last season's Patriot League slate can help them reach their regular season goals. Wins over Columbia and Holy Cross. An unblemished Patriot League schedule. And a trip to the FCS playoffs.
With the season a few weeks away, we met with some of our favorite guests from last year's season of Monday Night Quarterback, including slot receiver Brian Wetzel, running back Carlton Koonce, quarterback Michael Nebrich, linebacker Jake Rodrigues, and cornerback Ian Williams.
On defense, the Rams will rely on Rodrigues at the second level, and Williams in the secondary. Williams is a ball hawk who plays tight coverage and tackles anything that moves in run defense. His five interceptions led the team last season and he finished second on the squad in tackles. Rodrigues mans the middle of the field, where he finished top five in tackles for Fordham and led the team in quarterback sacks.
Offensively, the unit will rely on two skill position returnees. Wetzel finished with over 1,000 yards at receiver, and the Mr. Everything special teamer has the ability to burn most defensive backs, and the hands to make them pay once he's past them. Koonce uses bursts of speed and great vision to break the first level and find the secondary on most of his carries. The former receiver is also one of the biggest threats in the country out of the backfield on passing downs.
That offense will be run by second year signal caller Michael Nebrich. The Virginia native is a dual threat, as evidenced by his running stats a year ago, but a knee injury ended his first campaign at Fordham after just three games.
Of course any time with the team would be incomplete without a stop with Coach Joe Moorhead. That interview was posted last week due to the time sensitive nature of his comments about camp.
To hear Brian, Michael, Carlton, Ian, and Jake, look below.
And listen to the home opener when Fordham battled URI with the One on One Pregame Report starting at 6:50pm on 90.7FM or on WFUVSports.org.