As this season saw the entire defensive line return from the season before, next season will see only one return. This will be the largest void to fill going into 2011. Willie Taylor, John Branch, and Zach Leonard are all graduating Seniors, and this leaves Shawn Winfrey from this unit returning. Ferrum lists a lot of defensive linemen on their roster, but the size that they are losing up front will be hard to replace.
Linebacker Chris McCalla will be another big loss on the defensive side of the ball. It looks as though the defensive secondary will be in tact next year, and this will be big as experience factor will be huge.
On the offensive side of the ball, look for this unit to be losing Thomas Porter, and Quintel Banks . On the offensive line, Ferrum loses Andrew Allwine to graduation. Michael Walker, who is listed as a Senior will have another year of eligibility as he was out this season due to injury (Medical Red Shirt) So while the offense does lose some key players, the depth in the backfield will still be strong. It will be a priority to develop the FB position vacated by Banks. Look for Justin Donnelly to step up to this position.TE Vince Munch will be graduating this year, and while Ferrum as a rule does not throw the ball all that often, Vince has provided valuable blocking skills, and has proven to be an important target in the offensive scheme.
Long Snapper Clayton Walvoort is a name that does not come up much on the blog, but he has played a critical role in the success of the Ferrum kicking and punting game. His is a skilled player that will be a priority to replace next year. The receiver of most all of the Walvoort snaps is Senior punter T.J. Grzesikowski. This loss will be a huge one for the Panthers....Not only will Ferrum lose one of, if not the largest player on the team, they will also lose one of the most successful punters in the schools history. Over the last four years, T.J. has punted 183 times for a total of 7580 yards to end with an average of 41.42 yards per punt. His longest punt came against Maryville in 2009 as he launched one 66 yards. In that game, T.J. had three punts over fifty yards and he averaged 52.6 yards per punt that day. His strength not only lies in his punting distance, but also in his ability to pin opponents back deep in their own territory. He can hit the corners with accuracy when needed. T.J. will be a large loss for the Panthers. Look for this position to possibly be filled by Wesley Franklin.
So overall, I would say that the defensive front four will be the most critical loss, and will be Ferrum's main recruiting emphasis. This while important, will be dealt with efficiently, and I do not worry that there will be a solid front four on defense next year.