A VERY early look at Trojan football 2012 – Defense

Published 11:38 am Friday, December 16, 2011

Here is a very early look at the Trojan defense in 2012. This unit looses several contributors but should improve just for the shear fact that they couldn’t get much worse  (not to be doom and gloom, it’s the truth). Troy’s defense ranked 111th in total defense, 104th in run defense and 94th in pass defense.


Will Jonathan Massaquoi stay or will he go? The verdict is still out but with his number down in 2011 you would have to think he stock dipped a bit. Either way, he is Troy’s most draftable athlete and will be playing on Sundays at some point. For this experiment, let’s assume he stays and starts at left end for the Trojans in 2012. On the right side, the Trojans lose John Robles and  senior Xavian Evans (6-5, 265) would be the frontrunner on the depth chart. Tony Davis (6-0, 255) is undersized for a defensive tackle and did start at end against Arkansas St. If Evans can earn a spot, Troy could rotate Davis and junior Shermane Teart at tackle. Tony Gillespie and John Clark are also options on the interior. JUCO commit Brandon Timmons will make his case for playing time as well.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Projected Starters: Jonathan Massaquoi, Tony Davis/Shermane Teart, Xavian Evans


Troy will look to replace Xavier Lamb, the team’s second leading tackler. Brannon Bryan and Kanorris Davis both return as does Jacoby Thomas. All three are seniors but redshirt sophomore Brach Bessant (6-2, 248) will also look to crack the starting lineup with Lamb’s departure. Bryan did a fair job in run defense but was a disaster in pass coverage. Angelo Hadley stepped in a did a nice job in nickel packages but at 5-11, 197 isn’t the one you want plugging gaps against the run. Troy will likely turn to several commitments to improve this defensive unit.  Mitchell Roland (Auburn HS) will definitely get a look. Troy is still waiting to hear from a couple of other JUCO guys that could make an immediate impact.

Projected Starters: Brandon Bryan, Kanorris Davis, Jacoby Thomas


Corner Jimmie Anderson departs after an injury-plagued senior season. The Trojans also lose LaDarrius Madden, who moved around a bit from corner to safety. Barry Valcin will return after receiving a redshirt. Chris Pickett, Bryan Willis, Ethan Davis, and Dimitri Miles all return at corner but Troy is bringing in a host of defensive backs for 2012 including Shaq Beverly (First Coast HS, FL). Camren Hudson and leading tackler Bryden Trawick return to hold down the safety positions. After the miserable season this group had, I would have to think a complete remodel could be on the horizon. Redshirt freshman Joe Lofton will also be in the mix at safety.

Projected Starters: Chris Pickett, Bryan Willis, Bryden Trawick, Camren Hudson