The graduation of 2011 seniors Troy Evans and Ken Dorsey left a pair of big holes for the Warhawk defense to fill. One player that saw the field with limited action then is now ready to take on the role full time.
Joey Gautney enters his sophomore season as a starter at the defensive end position, playing opposite veteran Kentarius Caldwell. Last year in his true freshman season he tallied just seven tackles throughout the year, but gained experience to help for the rest of his career.
"I really have gotten use to Warhawk football," the 6'1, 254 pound Whitehouse, Texas native said. "This Warhawk defense is faster than anyone else out on the field, so we have fun, and a good intensity."
While Gautney is quick to admit that he's still learning the position, he also knows that the depth at the position creates a competition amongst the others, ensuring that the best are on the field.
"The twos, I really don't think there is a talent drop off when they are in the game," he said. "They are going to run the same defense, the same stunts, and the same intensity."
Adding to the new faces on the defensive front is Missouri transfer Gerrand Johnson. Johnson like Gautney and Caldwell will be making his first start for the Warhawks this season, but has already won over the confidence of his fellow line mates.
"Gerrand is still learning the plays, but he's going to get the job done," Gautney said. "KT (Caldwell), is getting after it. It's going to take time for us to ensure that we are together every time, but when we do, teams need to be ready for us."