Norfolk State football embraces underdog role

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The 2013 football season was one of the worst in Pete Adrian’s nine-year run as head coach at Norfolk State University. His Spartans, who will open up at the University of Maine on August 30, are picked to finish sixth in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 2014.

He and his team are just fine with that.

“If you can look over the history, it really doesn’t mean a whole lot,” said Adrian, who heads into his 10th season as the Spartans head man, “The year we won it, we were picked seventh.”

Sporting a silver grill on is bottom teeth along with 20 extra pounds of muscle, returning senior linebacker Lynden Trail shares those sentiments. ” Id always love to be the underdog, than to be on top and have everyone looking at you and have an actual X on your back,” said Trail, who was tabbed the preseason defensive player of the year.

While the Spartan offense will try and regroup from last year, when they ranked dead last in the MEAC in scoring offense, the NSU defense, lead by Trail, is expected to reek havoc. “We’re more of a family this year,” said Trail about the chemistry on defense,

“Don’t get me wrong, last year’s defense was tight, but you can see us spending more time off the field. Off-field chemistry converts back to on the field. So when you’re out there playing, everyone trusts a little bit more.”

Last year’s Spartan D ranked in the top five in almost every statistical category, and was first in interceptions.

Numbers and predictions don’t mean much to Trail, who says expect the Green and Gold to be in contention for a conference title near season’s end.

“When Norfolk State is hoisting the MEAC trophy at the end of the year, I guess it will be a surprise to everyone else, but it’s been playing in our mind for the longest,” said Trail.

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