QB Dan LeFevour

2007 Statistics

Coach: Butch Jones
8-6, 1 year
2007 Record: 8-6
at Kansas LOST 7-52
at Purdue LOST 22-45
at Ball State WON 58-38
ARMY WON 47-23
at Clemson LOST 14-70
at Kent State WON 41-32
at Western Michigan WON 34-31
at Akron WON 35-32
vs. Miami OH WON 35-10
Purdue LOST 48-51

2007 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2008 Outlook

For 107 years, Central Michigan has put forth a quality pigskin product. Once they became an I-A program in 1975, only four years went by before their first MAC title was won. The Chippies didn’t spawn a losing campaign until 1992. It has been since 1980 that CMU had won back-to-back MAC titles. Then last year, Butch Jones arrived. Jones took over the league champions and an offense that proved to be the top scoring group in the league. Jones kept the momentum from 2006’s MAC Championship-winning squad going enough to again capture the crown. That doesn’t leave much room to improve, but there are enough challenges in this upstart league that Central Michigan is no lock for anything in 2008.

The offense loses two receivers and two guards…that’s it from their pass-first, but balanced multiple-WR system. This spring, the offense looked to be in mid-season form already. There are two main components that need to stay healthy for the Chippies to have their best chance for the most wins – junior dual-threat Dan LeFevour and sophomore Antonio Brown, the past two MAC Freshmen of the Year. These two have Bryan Anderson (more receiving yards than Brown) and Notre Dame RB transfer Justin Hoskins to lean on and a line that will make it all work. But when you have one of two players to ever run for 1,000 yards while also passing for 3,000 yards in a season at this level (Vince Young did it before LeFevour), everyone else seems like a supporting cast member compared to their special signal caller.

That said, the defense ranked second-to-last in stopping the pass and went from allowing 22 points per game in ’06 to 37 per game last year. That meant two more losses than in ’06, so even if the offense sets school records, no stopping power will mean struggles weekly. Allowing North Dakota State (FCS, formerly I-AA) to score 44 - as well as allowing Kent State (3-9) and Akron (4-8) to each score 32 (even Eastern Michigan got 48 for the win) - is not a good omen for things to come. Chippewa grad Tim Banks may be in over his head leading the D, for the statistical slips he allowed reflect a huge step back. The spring only confirmed this slipping trend. Coach Jones has to be concerned with the secondary since almost everyone is back from the nation’s second-to-worst passing defense. The new LBs look like they may be better in coverage, and with a staunch DL that can manage on its own, better stopping power may be found. But that’s only an iffy proposition, at best…they’ll have to show us the D before we believe it’s been resurrected.

The slate has three big non-cons, and they are all away. Going to Athens to face the No.2 Bulldogs is ambitious, but holding them under 50 will be the realistic challenge. If that happens, the D can grow from that moral victory and hopefully apply lessons learned when they go to Purdue two weeks later. Sequentially, three games are played away, then three straight at home follow, only to then again play three more away. Like last year, the game with Ball State will probably decide the MAC West, and that game is at home. The revenge game with Eastern Michigan closes out the regular season, a possible concession if the conference title is out of reach.

Jones and his staff seem to be split, with the offense looking deadly under OC Mike Bajakian and the defense seeming overmatched under Banks. Jones cannot be afraid to pull the trigger on Banks if LeFevour comes back next year. The defense will then be an albatross around his/the teams’ neck and that will be a sure way to waste this much offensive firepower once again. This Chippewa squad should be special, one that should win national rankings and accolades that they can then ride into 2009. A team like this needs everything working for it, and cannot afford a marginal defense if Central aspires to break out of the mundane mold within which most MAC teams struggle.

Projected 2008 record: 8-4
QB - 4.5 DL - 3
RB - 3.5 LB - 2.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 2
OL - 3.5 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:
Passing: Dan LeFevour, 355-543-13, 3652 yds., 27 TD

Rushing: Dan LeFevour, 188 att., 1122 yds., 19 TD

: Antonio Brown, 102 rec., 1003 yds., 6 TD

Scoring: Dan LeFevour, 20 TD, 120 pts.


Kicking: Andrew Aguila, 9-14 FG, 60-64 PAT, 87 pts.

Tackles: Nick Bellore, 102 tot., 45 solo

Sacks: Frank Zombo, 7.5 sacks

Interceptions: Josh Gordy, 4 for 19 yds., 1 TD

Kickoff Returns: Antonio Brown, 40 ret., 26.2 avg., 1 TD

Punt Returns: Antonio Brown, 13 ret., 10.9 avg., 0 TD


OT Andrew Hartline
OFFENSE: Justin Gardner-WR, Duane Brooks-WR, Mike Decker-OG, Eric Tunney-OG
DEFENSE: Steven Friend-DT, Ike Brown-SLB, Red Keith-WLB, Curtis Cutts-SS, Tony Mikulec-P

The difference in this offense from 2006 through last year was significant. Second-year coordinator Mike Bajakian – the 2002 & ’03 QBs coach – took the production of QB Dan LeFevour and cranked it up from its already-efficient state to nearly All-American levels. Accountable for 75% of the Chippy’s yards from scrimmage (passed or ran it 68% of the 1076 total plays), the MAC Offensive Player of the Year increased his passing yardage by around 15% and he more than doubled his net rushing gains. Big and quick footed (not much blazing speed in the open field, though), LeFevour’s ability to read the opposing D and make the right play is pretty superior. He could cut down on his INTs (13 last year was up from 10 as a frosh, but he threw it 150 more times), but he’s looking good for a job on Sunday’s. LeFevour runs this spread, pass-first approach best, but backup Brian Brunner is in his senior year and has yet to truly prove whether or not he could do well if given the reigns. His one big effort was to lead CMU to their 27-14 win over EMU in 2006 with a 20-for-29, 214 passing yard effort, topped by two rushing TDs and 72 ground yards, so he has the chops to succeed and should do fine in keeping the offense moving if need be.

The running game allows LeFevour to decide when he will make his runs, but the actual running plays when he doesn’t keep it will be distributed amongst two seniors. All-MAC Justin Hoskins came here from Notre Dame as a rare three-star recruit after serving in South Bend during his underclassman days. With 4.4-second speed, Hoskins is excellent catching the rock out of the backfield. As is Ontario Sneed; even with five more carries, Sneed had less spectacular rushing results (178 yards less), but he did have more yards with the same number of catches. Hoskins being healthy secures he starts. Christmas baby Carl Volney didn’t impress in his RS frosh campaign, but he’s going to break out sometime soon with his skill package after his huge spring. Jahleel Addae is the three-star prize of this year’s class, but he offers no size difference to change things up out of the backfield. Marcel Archer does change things up for those two-back sets seen less than 25% of the time, but he needs more than two carries a game so he can get into a groove and keep defenders off LeFevour.

The guy responsible for nearly twice as many all-purpose yards as LeFevour is Antonio Brown. The nation’s second leading freshman receiver with 102 catches, Brown is a former dual-threat QB who followed up LeFevour’s MAC Freshman of the Year by earning the award for himself. Brown makes up for his size with speed and football savvy, getting open in the four-WR sets easily with so many distractions. There were only six 1,000-yard tandems in FBS last year, and one set was found here. 6’5 Bryan Anderson gets to go out a bit further downfield, piling up yards and proving to be the guy they go to for scores most often. Brown is more of a “get him in open space and he’ll YAC it up” kind of achiever. Gardner and Brooks are tough to replace as excellent first-stringers, but Kito Poblah and Taylor Bradley have ‘breakaway threat’ written all over both of them. Jean Pitts is the best of the viable backups, but the drop-off to the second team isn’t so bad that a few injuries couldn’t be handled. Rocky Weaver is a snarler who has a tight end tag in a multiple-WR scheme…not good for getting many reps.

The line is back with a healthy mix of old and young faces, and they bring a gelled foundation. Miller, Wojt and Hartline started every game together last year, and Maddux was first-team for nine games. How Colin Miller didn’t receive All-Freshman recognition seems criminal after the prep wrestling champ (Virginia super heavyweight) led the line of upperclassmen to new heights. Andrew Hartline earned All-MAC two straight years, and the former state discus champ will earn three if he remains healthy. Out of the Detroit area, Jeff Maddux is a rare Chippy who weighs in over 300 pounds but can still display superior footwork. Ex-TE Ollenburger earns his spot after doing extensive research at guard as a reserve. Since the line isn’t as deep as it might be at a school where agile big men abound, this isn’t the deepest group. But the ability for Bajakian and head coach Butch Jones to make the most of the blockers at hand is assured.

Moreover, what Jones brings as an offensive technician after working as an offensive assistant under Rich Rodriguez during the 2005-06 heydays at West Virginia is the difference between the knife-through-butter results now and the run-heavy, belabored production seen here when Jones was OC from 2001-03. The efficiency seen now is the wave Central rides into our top 50.


WR Antonio Brown


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Dan LeFevour-Jr (6-3, 226) Brian Brunner-Sr (6-3, 241)
RB Justin Hoskins-Sr (5-10, 195) Ontario Sneed-Sr (5-11, 203)
Carl Volny-So (5-11, 189)
WR Antonio Brown-So (5-11, 175) Jean Pitts-Jr (5-10, 170)
WR Kito Poblah-So (6-2, 196) Joe Bockheim-Sr (6-2, 197)
WR Bryan Anderson-Jr (6-5, 205) Brandin Friske-Fr (6-3, 207) (TE)
WR Taylor Bradley-So (6-1, 189) Matt Torres-So (6-1, 189)
Sean Skergan-So (6-1, 204)
TE Rocky Weaver-Fr (6-6, 220) Tyler Reed-So (5-11, 220) (FB)
Marcel Archer-Jr (5-11, 195) (FB)
OT Andrew Hartline-Sr (6-5, 297) Anthony Quinn-So (6-4, 252)
OG Jeff Maddux-So (6-4, 318) ..
C Colin Miller-So (6-3, 280) ..
OG Allen Ollenburger-Jr (6-4, 245) Joe McMahon-Jr (6-2, 285)
OT Greg Wojt-Sr (6-4, 285) Adam Antonides-Jr (6-3, 284)
K Andrew Aguila-Jr (6-0, 175) ..



In his first year as a coordinator at any level, alum Tim Banks saw his eleven allow nearly 120 more yards per game than the Chippy D did in 2006. Only three foes were held under the 30-point barrier, with five going over the 40-point line. No one on this side of the ball earned all-conference status.

We can scrutinize the run stopping, but even allowing 156 yards per game rushing meant leading the MAC in this category. The inside starter still here is Casey Drosca, a quick-on-his-feet tackle who plays bigger than his smallish size (his 11 TFLs tied for team lead). Todd Johnson really bolsters the entire line since he is a real-sized tackle and now the biggest guy on the D. Johnson passed on Nebraska and Okla. St. to get the chance to play immediately here, so he will be in the mix, if not a starter, by fall. He could displace Allison, who is not proven and will be exposed by Georgia for his lack of size. Williams also brings size, and he brings a Miami Central (prep) résumé that now seems to be more prevalent in Mount Pleasant than most would expect (eight players in this year’s class and 21 Chippewa players overall hail from the Sunshine State). At nearly 260, Sterling Height’s Frank Zombo also weighs in with the needed girth and is the team’s sack leader (7.5). Larry Knight holds up his end, as does ex-starting TE Sammy Williams when he gets the nod (six starts here last year). With so many bodies back, we see improvements for the results up front.

Nick Bellore sits in the commander’s chair (MLB) and does a strong job tying the defense together. Injuries (shoulder/neck surgery) kept Hissong from earning his starting slot this spring after bumping up from safety. Junior Barron Miles holds onto the starter’s job, but the entire weakside looks just that (weak) due to most of the two-deep hovering around 200lbs (and that’s on a heavy day after eating from the buffet). Ex-WR Mike Petrucci looks like the next great SLB here; he flew up the depth chart this spring and impresses with the speed to match up against anyone in coverage. Lapsey started 12 games on the 2006 D that was much tighter, so his experience/availability will be key to forming the best LB rotation out of the available hats.

The biggest focus has to be on improving the pass defense. With all but one main cog back, expectations have to be on improving from those hard lessons of ’07, ones which allowed 34 passing TDs (to go with the 31 rushing scores) and allowed the most passing yards of any defense (4,249…no other team allowed over 4,000 yards). Banks oversees the corners and second-year man Mike Kolakowski the safeties, but their one-year result has many wondering if they can maximize the elements at hand. Chaz West bumps back to safety, and that move seems to have helped somewhat. West’s all-around effort fits better there, and, as a great open-field tackler, he can prevent more scores if the ball is in front of him. Eric Fraser was also part of the 2006 defense, but his stat line (except tackles) seems bare as he was spread too thin and never really took off in Banks’ system. The same can be said for Brazzel (might bump to LB), McLaughlin and Edwards, all of whom started, but none with much regularity and the results suffered due to the weekly shuffling. Reports are HC Jones is going to keep the “musical chairs” going in back. Fraser and West starting together looks like a solution to the many field management issues, but the staff has to stay committed to them once they are both healthy. Corner Josh Gordy is a speed merchant (10.5 in the 100), but an ankle injury last year kept his efforts limited. A clean bill of health will mean Gordy is the No.1 corner, and five-time starter Tommy Mama will have to hold off Agnew, a Grand Rapids product looking to prove much after getting his feet wet last year in a reserve role. Ex-RB/WR LaVarus Williams also has a Chippy attitude - this burner wants to fit into the CMU two-deep in his first year of eligibility and show why he will stay entrenched on the outside for years to come. Four other DBs in the newest class make the future a bit brighter for those dark November upstate days.

The bottom line for this defense is plain and simple: knowing their offense will pour on the points, how much the defense improves will dictate how many more wins Central can expect.


CB Josh Gordy


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Larry Knight-Jr (6-3, 243) Sam Williams-Jr (6-4, 218)
DT Josh Allison-Fr (6-2, 245) John Williams-Fr (6-0, 270)
Mark Dietz-Fr (6-3, 255)
NG Casey Droscha-Sr (6-1, 258) Todd Johnson-Jr (6-4, 280) (JUCO)
DE Frank Zombo-Jr (6-4, 259) Tredale Kennedy-So (6-3, 250)
SLB Mike Petrucci-Fr (6-2, 208) Jonathan Lapsley-Sr (6-2, 254)
MLB Nick Bellore-So (6-1, 234) Matt Berning-So (6-1, 235)
WLB Barron Miles-Jr (6-2, 202) Calvin Hissong-Jr (6-4, 196)
Shane Torzy-So (6-2, 197)
CB Josh Gordy-Jr (5-11, 190) LaVarus Williams-Fr (5-11, 185)
CB Tommy Mama-Jr (5-10, 187) Vince Agnew-So (5-11, 188)
SS Chaz West-Jr (5-11, 181) E.J. McLaughlin-So (6-0, 203)
Tim Brazzel-Jr (6-0, 185)
FS Eric Fraser-Jr (6-0, 202) Kirkston Edwards-Jr (6-1, 183)
Bobby Seay-So (5-11, 185)
P Brett Hartmann-So (6-3, 215) ..




Brett Hartmann doesn’t look like much of an improvement after averaging 35 yards per punt in prep. He looks more viable as a place kicker, and even though Andrew Aguila seems to have that spot sewn up, Aguila only went 2-for-5. Antonio Brown has the ability to return both kinds of kicks. Brown had one return for a TD as a freshman, so a few this year would be no surprise.