The UNCP football team will once again benefit and lean on yet another strong and stout defense that is bringing back last year’s team leader in sacks (9) as well as tackles for loss (15.5) in redshirt senior Tyler Hinton and their leading tackler who is also a key cog in the secondary in fellow redshirt senior Josh Manns.
The Braves defense will feature yet another talented and deep defensive front, especially along the line where second place sack and tackle for loss leader Tajai Liles will also be back for his senior campaign.
The tenacious “Death Row” defensive line will be featuring young and up and coming talent eager to make names for themselves with their new opportunities this year.
Redshirt freshman Adonai Aloma off the edge and redshirt junior Domenique Davis from the interior are expected to apply plenty of pressure and wreak havoc in the backfields of opposing offensives this season after strong showings in the Black and Gold scrimmage this past spring.
Also roaming in the secondary with Manns will be returning junior defensive backs Shawn Everett and Tre’von Gibson who both tied for the team lead in interceptions last season with three apiece.
Having a background as a defensive minded coach with his expertise on that side of the ball Head Coach Shane Richardson hopes that a complete buy in to the core philosophies of this team to continue the proud defensive trend that he has established during his tenure.
“It’s not a given and those guys have got to continue to come out and work hard and know how important it is to establish who we are. To be able to play hard, play fast and play together is the biggest thing that we talk about defensively,” Richardson said.
The Braves are welcoming a new defensive coordinator into their coach ranks as Tim Driscoll will take over the reigns as the team’s defensive play caller for the former D.C. in Joe Ford. He brings with him 25 combined years of coaching experience, including 14 as defensive coordinator at the collegiate level, with his most recent stint as a defensive shot caller coming at Michigan Tech from 2004-13.
“He understands our philosophy. He understands what we believe in and how we have done things over the years. He wants to be a contributor and bring some of the knowledge and experience that he brings to the table and be able to add to it,” Richardson said.