College football: Indians beef up interior

Published 8:27 pm Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Catawba didn’t lose much after a 2014 season in which it finished one game over. 500 overall and one game under .500 against the South Atlantic Conference.The Indians graduated nine players, but they added a lot of reinforcements with 17 players committing to play football for Catawba starting this fall.

Much of the focus of this recruiting class was beefing up the interior on both sides of the ball.

“For us to be great we’ve got to be able to take care of the front lines of defense,” head coach Curtis Walker said. “If we want to be able to be great on offense, we’ve got to have people to move off the football.”

Five offensive lineman and three defensive lineman will join the Indians for the 2015 season.

Along with the bulk of linemen, the Indians are bringing in three defensive backs.

A key addition to the secondary came from the junior college ranks. Case Woodard, from Lithonia, Georgia, played for Georgia Military College in 2014 after originally signing with SAC power Carson-Newman.

Last year he had two interceptions and made more than 30 tackles playing as a cornerback for the Bulldogs. Walker said the coaches wanted to add experience and great players who could play at the level they want pretty quick.

This is the third recruiting class — second with a full year to build it — of Walker’s tenure. The Indians filled holes here and there, but they are also trying to assemble a foundation for long-term success.

“With this being our second full recruiting class from spring to signing day, it’s important to have a group we can stamp as a team,” Walker said. “I feel very comfortable saying this a very talented group, and I hope this pans out to be our best recruiting class so far.”

The rest of the Indians’ recruiting class breaks down like this: two wide receivers, one running back, one tight end, one quarterback and a kicker.

Area athletes coming to Catawba are offensive lineman Ian Keesee from A.L. Brown High, offensive lineman Junquavius Harris from Mooresville High, and tight end Tyler McHargue from West Iredell.