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Junior college football profile: Navarro College Bulldogs
The month of July is quickly winding down which means two things: it is halfway through the summer and college football programs are gearing up for training camp.
While many football programs are dealing with governing body rules violations, players getting in legal trouble or leaving school early and having to adjust to a new coaching staff, things are expected to be the same as usual for the Navarro College Bulldogs. Well, almost everything will be the same except that the Bulldogs will now be the target of every team they play since the Bulldogs are the defending JUCO national champions.
Navarro College, which is located in Corsicana, Texas, defeated Butler (Kansas) Community College 13-12 in the 2010 Citizens Bank Bowl to win its second National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) title in school history (Navarro also won the 1989 JUCO championship). The Bulldogs, who were 11-1 on the season, also finished in the top spot of the NJCAA top-20 poll for the first time in school history.
Navarro College, which competes in the seven-team Southwest Junior College Football Conference (SWJCFC), will be entering their 66th football season in 2011. The Bulldogs have compiled an overall record of 393-227-10 and are 10-5-1 in 16 bowl games. Navarro also has either won or been co-champions of its conference 13 times. In addition, 70 Bulldogs have been named All-Americans and the program has produced 50 professional football players. The most notable Bulldogs that have reached the NFL are cornerback DaMarcus Figgins (Houston Texans) and offensive lineman Stockar McDougal (Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles).
The Bulldogs, who are also the reigning conference champions, are still considered the team to beat in the SWJFC despite losing several key players on both sides of the ball. Navarro, which has posted a 32-3 record under fourth-year head coach Nick Bobeck, does have some exciting players coming back led by defensive lineman Joey Searcy. The 6-1, 315-pound Searcy recorded 37 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Searcy, who has verbally committed to play for Baylor University next season, will be joined on the defensive line by fellow Division-I prospect Bubba Vactor, and Calvin Barnett. The 6-foot Vactor contributed 23 tackles and 5.5 sacks while the 6-3 Barnett registered 16 tackles.
On offense, the Bulldogs should have a lethal passing attack with quarterback Adrian Nelson at the helm and a pair of big-play receivers in Marquez Clark and Jordan Jolly. Nelson, who is 6-4, completed 22 of his 40 passing attempts for 303 yards and five touchdowns in six games. In addition, Nelson ran for 57 yards on 18 attempts and only threw one interception. The 5-11 Clark was second on the team in receptions with 19 receptions in 2010. Clark also averaged 13.1 yards a catch while the 6-3 Jolly hauled in 13 receptions for 189 yards (14.5 yards per reception).
Navarro College, which is ranked 11th in the JCGridiron.com's annual "Dirty 30" preseason poll, will open up the 2011 campaign with a non-conference home game against Butler (Kansas) Community College on Aug. 25. The rest of the Bulldogs' nine-game schedule includes six conference games and two non-conference away games (Arkansas Baptist and Georgia Military).
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