Posted on: April 30, 2008 11:10 am
Edited on: May 1, 2008 8:49 am
Troy has continued a steady climb from FCS (formerly Division 1-AA) to FBS (formerly Division 1-A). In 2001, Troy enjoyed it first full season as a member of Division 1-A football. Since that year Troy has steadily increased its success with on the field performances and with draft choices and free agent signings. We have beaten teams from the SEC and the Big 12 conferences and have held our own against top competition over the last 7 seasons. Recently with the 2008 NFL Draft Troy saw one of its own players get the call to the next level with the number 11 pick to the Buffalo Bills. Leodis McKelvin is the second player from Troy to be drafted in the number 11 spot. The other player is none other than DeMarcus Ware, Pro Bowl Line Backer for the Dallas Cowboys. Leodis will join the other 5 players who are currently playing in the league: DeMarcus Ware - Dallas Cowboys, Osi Umenyiora - New York Giants, Lawrence Tynes - New York Giants, Brannon Condren - Indianapolis Colts, and Alfred Malone - Green Bay Packers. Leodis is not the only Trojan to join an NFL team from the most recent class of graduating Trojans. Free agent deals have been made between the following players and teams: Gary Banks - San Diego Chargers, Marcus Richardson - Houston Texans, Chris Bradwell - Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Elbert Mack - Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Marcus Pitman - Kansas City Chiefs. The Trojans have improved their numbers in the NFL from 5 to 11 with this years class and could add even more with several players receiving invitation to try out for several teams: Josh Allen - New England Patriots, Kenny Cattouse - New England Patriots, and Zarah Yisreal - New Orleans Saints. Troy could see as many as 14 active players in the NFL in 2008 if things go well. Success in athletics is determined in several ways with one being how many athletes are sent to the next level to play. With the NFL's interest in this years graduating class, Troy's success is evident. Who knows it may not be long before Troy has a Junior depart Troy for early entry to the draft?
Posted on: April 20, 2008 4:35 pm
Troy Athletics have an advantage that not many people know about. The advantage is not some secret drug or potion. It is not a magical shoe taylored to each athletes foot or a uniform that gives super human strength. The advantage does not come from eating spinach or some other fuel food given to cartoon characters. The advantage is in the form of flesh and blood.
Troy has seen several athletes have success after their playing days as a Trojan are finished. Athletes like DeMarcus Ware, Osi Umenyiora, Lawrence Tynes, Brannon Condren, Alfred Malone, Leodis McKelvin, Amy Lewis, Josh Dew, Tom King, and the list goes on and on and on. All of these athletes have the advantage. I am sure if you asked each of these Trojans to name the top 5 reasons they are successful athletes who have extended their careers after college they would point to their head coach as one and various other reasons. One of the reasons for their success would have to be Strength and Conditioning Coach Richard Shaughnessy.
Who is Richard Shaughnessy? He has been the strength and conditioning coach at Troy since 1996.
After reading Riachard's biography, one thing stands out the most to me. He is recognized as one of the 18 elite strength coaches in the world by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. This one award makes him one of Troy's biggest advantages on the fields and courts of competition as he trains each athlete involved in the 17 NCAA sports sponsored by Troy. He continues each year to produce some of the best athletes Troy has ever seen. Hopefully Troy can keep this advantage a Trojan for a long time to come.
Posted on: April 11, 2008 10:42 am
Troy and FAU are squaring off in Boca Raton this weekend starting tonight. The battle looks to be Troy's pitching (3rd in the League) versus FAU's hitting (3rd in the League). Troy is attempting to keep itself in a position to claim the first place spot from ULM. FAU is coming off a big win at #1 Miami earlier this week and are hoping to sweep the Trojans to stake claim to second place. FAU is hot right now coming off the win at Miami and will showcase one of the leagues hottest players, William Block, and the leader in homeruns, Mike McKenna. Troy has their own players who are ready to show out against the Owls. Bryan Miller leads the league in doubles while Ryan Ellison is 5th in Strikeouts. An interesting stat shows Troy as the 3rd best pitching squad in the league with a 5.32 ERA yet no Troy pitcher is listed in the top 10 ERAs in the league. Troy needs this series to stay in target with ULM and to distance itself from FAU.
Posted on: April 4, 2008 10:10 pm
Leodis McKelvin has had all the Troy fans talking since his first action in 2004. If the 61 yard kick-off return against Utah State did not grab your attention, the 71 yard interception return for a touchdown surely did. He continued to amaze in 2004 as he scorched Idaho and Florida Atlantic for a pair of touchdowns respectively. The 2005 season was forgettable for Troy Trojan fans as the Trojans struggled all year but for Leodis it served as his coming out party on a big time stage against South Carolina. The Gamecocks watched as Leodis returned a kick-off 100 yards with in the confines of Williams-Brice Stadium. He also returned a punt against arch rival UAB for 73 yards and a score. The 2006 season brought some challenges at cornerback as he successfully faced two All-Americans in the form of Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson and Rice's Jarret Dillard. He also continued his punt return show as FIU experienced another exciting touchdown from the legs of Leodis. In 2007 Troy was given their first FBS All-American as Leodis continued to show his skills as both a cornerback and return man. He added Adarius Bowman to his list of receivers defended and also made the very same Oklahoma State Cowboys victim of his return expertise. His defensive career stats at Troy include 173 total tackles with 4 interceptions. As a punt return specialist he returned 112 punts for 1471 yards for an average of 13.2 yards and 7 touchdowns. Kick returns were just as impressive with 99 kick returns for 2346 yards for an average of 23.6 yards and 1 touchdown. Leodis also amassed 3873 all-purpose yards for 81.1 yards per game most of which came by way of kick and punt returns. To say the least, Leodis has been an amazing athlete on the Trojan gridiron since his cleats started kicking up the tiny black specks of rubber beneath the turf at Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium with each getting better and better.
I would say that if you were drafting a cornerback and could design him anyway you wanted, Leodis would fit the mold in most areas of development. Speed: Check! Quickness: Check! Swivel Hips: Check! Break on the Ball: Check! Return Skills: Check! Check! Check! The NFL scouts also agree as Leodis is listed as the top cornerback in the 2008 NFL draft by many of them. When the NFL draft day finally arrives the nation will see exactly what we in Troy have experienced the last four years as the most dynamic cornerback and return specialist ever to play for the Troy Trojans makes his way to the bigs by way of a top 10 pick.
Posted on: April 2, 2008 2:10 pm
The Troy Trojan Nation is a blog where I will include some of my thoughts and ponderings on everything Troy from Trojan Football to Trojan Track and Field. I will post at least once per week so visit frequently as I dive into the Troy Trojan Nation.