Though Nassau Community College posted nine gridiron victories in 2012 and was ranked as high as No. 3 in the NJCAA, the Lions aren’t at all interested in picking up where they left off. That’s because they closed with back-to-back losses, including a tough 30-29 defeat to ASA College in the Northeast Football Conference title game.
“We had a good year, but we weren’t happy with how it ended,” said tailback Travis Lock, who rushed for a team-leading 1,008 yards and 13 touchdowns on 125 carries. “We wanted to win every game.
“We brought back a lot of guys,” he added. “We’ve got high expectations. Everyone is excited and working hard.”
Lock, who helped Lynbrook High School to the Long Island Class III championship three years ago, will be the feature back in head coach Curtis Guilliam’s offense after sharing the workload with since-departed Louis Johnson a year ago. “I learned a lot from him,” the 6-foot, 220-pound Lock said of Johnson, who had 960 yards and 11 touchdowns on 180 carries. “He’s one of the most talented backs I’ve seen.” Both backs earned First Team All-NFC honors.
Guilliam, who said Lock is drawing interest from D-I programs such as Arizona State, South Florida and Marshall, said the Lions’ offense is going to take what the defense gives it. Last fall, Nassau CC averaged 40.4 points per game and surpassed 40 on six occasions. “We’re going to spread things out and play at a fast pace,” said Guilliam, who spent six years as an assistant in the program before taking over the helm last season. “Conditioning is going to be a factor, and I like our depth.”
Starting quarterback Troy Jones (1,191 yards, 15 touchdowns, five interceptions), who missed the last two games after undergoing an appendectomy, returns, along with top wideout Antwane Grant and linemen Chad Mavety, Errol McCarthy and Haris Mrkulic.