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Players to watch for: Towson Tigers

Who are two guys who could shine for Towson against Wake Forest this week?

This week the Deacons will face off against the Towson Tigers in their first home game of the year.

For those of you who may not know, the Tigers are an FCS school and a member of the Colonial Athletic Association or CAA. The team and their whole conference have been overshadowed by the play of James Madison University for the past five seasons.

Last week, I told you to watch out for Darnell Mooney and Donnie Lewis from Tulane last week.

Here are the stat lines that those two put up in the overtime loss:

Mooney: 8 Receptions, 74 yards

Lewis: 4 Total tackles, 1 interception

It seems like I was on point with those two picks.

As for this week, here are my selections for players to keep an eye on against the Deacons.

Kobe Young

Young is the focal point of the Tigers offense. The sophomore out of Parkland High School in Winston Salem has become the team’s leader in the rushing attack.

At 6’0”, 190 pounds, he plays like a traditional back that is rarely seen enough in today’s style of football. He is a north-south runner, meaning that he primarily focuses on gaining yardage from the gaps inside the tackling box, instead of cutting outside.

This ground-and-bound running approach has allowed Young to be a translucent runner once he passes the line of scrimmage. He has the quick first step to blow by the initial defensive unit and uses that momentum to gain extra yardage down the field.

He is also a handful to tackle as he has many moves in his arsenal to prevent defenders from slowing him down.

Watch out Young easily bounces off the defender for the short touchdown run.

In week one’s matchup against Morgan State, Young put up seven carries for 66 yards and a touchdown.

Expect him to be a major factor on the Towson offense come Saturday, especially if and when the team is near the end zone.

Aidan O’Neill

You usually don’t see a special teams player as a person to look out for, but Aidan O’Neill has that type of talent.

In just two years and one game played for the university, he is already Towson’s all-time leader in field goals made with 35.

Last week, he was unstoppable. He connected on all four of his field goal attempts in the blowout win against Morgan State, connecting on three field goals between 36-39 yards. He connected on all three of the team’s extra point attempts as well.

Although not known as a “strength kicker” he is lethal from medium range. This is very similar to former Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey.

In fact, O’Neill’s performance was so impressive that he was named the CAA Special Teams Player of the Week.

With that in mind, when Towson reaches near the red zone, expect the team to make those three points that could become crucial if the game ever gets close.