WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) – It was there, then suddenly it wasn’t. After winning three straight games against teams ranked in the nation’s top 20, the College of William & Mary football team stumbled in their final two matchups of 2013 and missed out on the playoffs.
They haven’t forgotten.
“That’s probably the most single motivating thing we have going for us right now,” says senior receiver Tre McBride.
A 15-9 home loss to Towson followed by a 31-20 loss at rival University of Richmond doomed the Tribe’s postseason fate a year ago. While they keep it locked away in the back of their minds, they haven’t let it affect the start of fall camp in any negative way.
“Attitude seems to be good. So, we’re ready to roll,” says Jimmye Laycock, who heads into his 35th season as the Tribe’s head coach.
William & Mary will no doubt be lead by their defense, which returns nine starters, including CAA preseason defensive player of the year Mike Reilly. Reilly’s 11 sacks lead the conference and ranked second in the country.
He’ll be backed up by returning linebackers Luke Rhodes and Airek Green, along with cornerback DeAndre Houston-Carson; all named preseason all-conference performers.
No other team will feature more pre-season all-conference players than William and Mary, but are yet to find a starting quarterback. “We don’t have much experience,” said Laycock on the position, “We don’t have guys that have played at all. So, we’ve got to decide who’s going to be our starting quarterback, and then get him a lot of reps.”
Whoever the quarterback is, whether it be Junior Christian Brumbaugh, Sophomore Frank Brown (who played at Bethel High School in Hampton), sophomore Steve Cluley or even if Raphael Ortiz can manage to fend off the injury bug, he’ll have to face a Virginia Tech defense when the Tribe heads to Blacksburg on August 30.