September 10, 2009
MARQUETTE, Mich. – To be competitive in football in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) teams at times must reload. This year to fill some holes and to add depth the Northern Michigan University football team picked up a number of junior college and transfers from other four-year schools.
“In this conference you better be deep and rotate enough people to play on a steady basis,” said Bernie Anderson, the head football coach at NMU. “We did not have that kind of depth in people coming out of high school. With that depth factor and experience factor, we had to go out and sign them. ” NMU went out and signed nine transfers in late spring into early summer. Seven made the trip to Northwood last week.
Defensively the Wildcats added a current starter and two backups. Demitri Stewart, a transfer from Miami (Fla.), started at one of the defensive end positions against Northwood last week. He ended the game with four total tackles. Right behind him on the depth chart is Eric Wells, a transfer from the College of the Canyons. Also on defense, Junior Michel, a transfer from Rock Valley Community College, added depth to the free safety position. Anthony Echols made the trip last week as he added depth to the linebacking corps. He is a transfer from Joliet Junior College.
On the other side of the ball, Brett Angel is currently the backup at center. He is from Dean College. Andy Vasquez from Moorpark College has added depth to the right guard position. Brad McCellan, another product of College of the Canyons, is battling for playing time at quarterback behind Carter Kopach and Ben Hempel. “Quarterback is always a concern and you better be good at that position,” said Anderson.
What Anderson sees in these players is that they all made an impact on the team and in the depth. “That was the depth that we needed to compete in this conference for 10 weeks,” said Anderson. According to Anderson this is not a trend. “We would rather bring in people and have them in the program for two or three years and play them as juniors and seniors,” said Anderson.
The ‘Cats want to compete at the top level of the conference. NMU has added some immediate help and filled some holes to take that next step into the top level of the GLIAC.
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Sports Information Director