In three years, Blinn (Texas) Community College has produced 38 Division I and I-AA athletes. It's no surprise that the Buccaneers won a national championship on 2006, went deep in the playoffs in 2007 and are preseason ranked No. 2 entering 2008.
They will be tested early as they face No. 1 ranked Butler Community College in their first game.
"We are really excited about what is going on here and are geared up for the season," assistant coach Keith Browning said.
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While game-planning for the season, Browning is busy coordinating the recruiting efforts for several of his athletes. Twelve to be exact. The Buccaneers have already said goodbye to three prospects who were supposed to be back this season, but were snatched up by Division I schools this summer.
Receiver Kierre Johnson of Westfield High School was picked up by the University of Houston, while offensive lineman Greg Bulls committed to the University of Alabama-Birmingham last week. Defensive back Bryant Nnabuise, formerly of Fort Bend Elkins, signed with California.
Headlining this year's offense is tight end Prizell Brown, receivers Justin Jordan and Travis Cobb, quarterback Terrence Cain and offensive lineman Marquise Franklin.
The 6-foot-4 Brown from Pflugerville Connally High School creates tremendous mismatches for linebackers with his athleticism. He has offers from Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas State and UAB.
"We can throw him jump balls and he can go get it," Browning said. "He had Division I offers in basketball in high school, so he's a straight up athlete. We can split him out and he adjusts to the ball very well."
Jordan is a versatile athlete who doubles as a receiver and running back. The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder from Plano High School has double-digit offers from the likes of Oklahoma, California, Arizona, Kansas State, Southern Miss, UAB, New Mexico, Kentucky and Utah.
"He can take a hand-off or a pass and take it to the house," Browning said. "He's a play-maker."
At the other receiver is Travis Cobb, a 6-foot speedster who stretches the field. The Rocky Mount, North Carolina-native plans to play at Utah in 2009.
"Cobb has been clocked in the low 4.3s," Browning said. "He can absolutely fly."
Cain and Franklin have not been officially offered yet but will have several suitors as the recruiting season heats up. Cain, from North Shore High School, set an NJC passing efficiency record last season and was an honorable-mention All-American.
"Terrence came from a great high school, and he's a tremendously accurate passer and student of the game," he said. "He's getting a lot of interest from SMU, Tulsa, Minnesota and UTEP. He's a big-time player."
The 6-foot-7 Franklin signed with Oklahoma State out of Tyler Lee High School, but is back on the market this season.
"He has interest from every major school in the country," he said. "They are all coming. He started every game at right tackle last season and is a great pass-blocker. He is a preseason All-American and will be able to go anywhere."
Blinn is equally as loaded on defense. Linemen Jarred Price, Sean Warren and Travis Stephens will be the first line of defense. Price (5-foot-10, 215-pounds) has been offered by California, Kentucky and Kansas State, while Stephens has been offered by Kansas and UAB. Warren, from Texas City High School, holds offers from UAB and North Texas.
"Jarred can just get off the ball and led the conference in sacks as a freshman," he said. "He's lightning in a bottle. Travis is a big, strong, physical defensive end that can get up the field. A bunch of other schools are looking at him. Sean gets tremendous leverage and commands a double-team at the nose tackle spot."
Linebacker Prentice Joseph returns after a shoulder injury that kept him out of the 2007 season, and has been named to the preseason All-American team. The 6-foot, 252-pound middle linebacker from Pasadena Dobie High School is the defensive heartbeat.
"He played as a true freshman and he's our leader," Browning said. "He's a mature kid, who understands the game. He will get some offers as people see him recover from the injury."
Outside linebacker C.J. Parrish holds offers from New Mexico and Kansas State, while schools like LSU, Texas A&M and USC are looking at him. He's an exceptional athlete and played three positions for us last year."
Two sleepers for Blinn are safety Byron Landor and cornerback Terrence Sweeney. Landor transferred from Louisiana-Monroe to Blinn and is a big, physical safety. Sweeney starred at Westfield High School at running back but moves to the defensive side of the ball. He will also be involved in the return game.