Troy State’s senior class wins one last homecoming

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 28, 2001

Sports Editor

Remarkable to believe, but linebacker Jimmy McClain has played his last homecoming game as Troy State Trojan.

The same can be said about quarterback Brock Nutter, who started for the Trojans as a redshirt-freshman back in 1998 as did defensive end Vernon Marable.

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Dewayne McQueen and Carl Simmons did their parts as squad members.

And along the way the 2001 Trojans’ senior class picked up some new faces.

Linebacker Corey Sears and fullback Roddric Johnson transferred in from Southern Miss. Defensive lineman Carlos Stennis made the move to Troy State from Alabama. Daniel O’Brien played two seasons at Middle Georgia College before coming to Troy.

Demontray Carter and Ben Waldrop both played their prep ball at Pensacola High School, but each took different routes to Troy State. Carter led Auburn in rushing for two years under Terry Bowden before being named the Southland Football League’s "Newcomer of the Year" in his first year at TSU. Waldrop walked on for Bobby Bowden at Florida State, played as a squad player, and after sitting out all of 1999 and 2000, has made an impact at linebacker for the Trojans in 2001.

Offensive lineman Charlie Goodyear also sat out 2000, after transferring from Tennessee-Martin.

With the 20-17 win over Southern Utah on Saturday, the Trojans’ senior class upped their record in four years to 33-11. That includes three straight appearances in the Division 1-AA playoffs and two straight Southland Football League Championships.

2001 is the Trojans’ transition year into Division 1-A, which means there is no bowl game or conference title awaiting Troy State at the end of the season. For the seniors there’s nothing else to look forward to following

a Dec. 1 home game against North Texas.

Like most college football programs, this has been a year of ups and downs for Troy Sate. Two losses to top five programs in Nebraska and Miami. A 54-17 embarrassment at Middle Tennessee. A rain-drenched coming out party in Starkville with a 21-9 win over SEC foe Mississippi State.

The ride’s not over yet for these seniors, but the end is near.

However, there’s still time to laugh and wonder, as McClain did after Saturday’s game, thinking "what if?"

On Southern Utah’s final drive of the game, McClain had a sure interception and chance for a touchdown bounce out of his hands. He returned two for scores as a sophomore in 1999.

"I’m going to be hearing about that one all week," said McClain about the dropped pick.

"I knew it was coming. It would have felt so good and I’ve been waiting on it. I finally got it and I dropped it."

For McClain there will always be a "what-if?"

"My first three years here we had some good teams and we had high hopes for last season," he said. "We didn’t get any national titles, but we did get two conference rings and had a win over a Southeastern Conference opponent. Next week, we’re going to play Maryland and that’s another big game. So it’s not over by far."