WVWC football preview with Saginaw Valley State

The Basics
The West Virginia Wesleyan football team is poised to begin the 2022 season at Saginaw Valley State on Thursday (Sept. 1). Kickoff is set at 6 p.m. from Harvey Randall Wickes Memorial Stadium in University Center, Mich., and the game will be broadcasted on FloSports.

Quick Hits

  • Dwayne Martin begins his second year in charge of WVWC football. Martin is a West Virginia Wesleyan football alum and has been on the football coaching staff for seven years.
  • Mike Maloney (Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line), Marcus Spearman (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Director of Operations), Dominic Bornman (Quarterbacks/Recruiting Coordinator) and Ethen Jefferson (Linebackers) all return to the WVWC Football coaching staff.
  • John Allen (Wide Receivers) and David Gonzalez (Tight Ends/Running Backs/Video Coordinator) were added to the WVWC Football coaching staff.
  • The Bobcats return Deontre Logan and Trey Milam to the gridiron. Logan and Milam were named All-Mountain East Conference Honorable Mention after the 2021 season. Logan, a senior from Chesterfield, Va., led the Bobcat defense with 60.0 tackles, 7.5 TFL, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. An offensive lineman from Summersville, W.Va., Milam started nine games and was the anchor of the offensive line.
  • Quarterbacks Nathan Payne and Jamir Boyd headline the offense. Payne completed 69 passes for 703 yards and three touchdowns as a true freshman. Boyd logged 461 passing yards and five touchdown passes in five games played.
  • Javian Tomlinson begins his sophomore campaign at tailback for WVWC. Tomlinson rushed for 332 yards and found the end zone three times in 2021.
  • Wide receiver Dariuse Cooper hauled in 26 receptions for 251 yards, which was the second-highest mark for all WVWC pass catchers in 2021.
  • On the defensive side of the football, defensive back Cameron Lomax recorded 39.0 tackles, including one tackle for a loss. Senior linebacker Renard Matthews tallied 37.0 tackles, three tackles for a loss and one sack. Dequandre Edwards racked up 29.0 total tackles, two tackles for a loss and an interception. Interior defensive lineman Amir Franklin-Branch totaled 28.0 total tackles and one fumble recovery.
  • Junior running back Khalil Smith returns to the field for the Bobcats after 24 chemo treatments. Smith, a Penn Hills, Pa., native, is a colon cancer survivor.
  • Wesleyan returns eight offensive starters and nine defensive starters.

Scouting Saginaw Valley State
The Cardinals were picked to finish fourth in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). SVSU finished the 2021 campaign with a 7-4 record and won five of their final six matchups.

The projected starting quarterbacks for SVSU are Andrew Brito and Willie Taylor. Brito is a transfer from Central Florida, while Taylor is a Stephen F. Austin transfer. Lansing, Mich., native Casey Williams prepares for his senior season at wide receiver. Williams led the Cardinals in receiving yards (598) average receiving yards (14.9) and touchdowns (four).

Linebacker Trevor Nowaske leads the Cardinals on the defensive side. The senior totaled 84.0 total tackles, one forced fumble and 9.5 tackles for a loss in 2021. Nick Whiteside captured four interceptions and recorded eight pass breakups in his junior season. The Auburn Hills, Mich., native was named an AP NCAA Division II All-American. Placekicker Connor Luksic converted 19 of his 26 field goals last year and made a 48-yard field goal.

Ryan Brady begins his third season as the head coach of SVSU. Brady played quarterback at Grand Valley State and led the Lakers to a 2002 national championship.

Up Next
The Bobcats open MEC play in North Carolina at UNC Pembroke on Sept. 10. The game is set to start at noon.

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