MARQUETTE – The Northern Michigan University football team finished near or in the middle of the pack last season in every major defensive stat category in the GLIAC, and they did it with one of the younger defenses in the conference.
Northern has a number of experienced players, especially at linebacker. Senior captain Nick Krause is a preseason All–American. Another senior captain, Levi Perry, will help Krause lead the defense from the linebacker position.
Trever Kruzel will led the way in the trenches. Speaking of the defensive line, Coach Ostrowsky said at media day Sunday that he’s very happy with the development that’s been made at that position.
“In terms of our defensive line we’ve recruited depth, we’ve recruited size, we’re bigger than we’ve ever been,” said head coach Chris Ostrowsky. ”
We hired John Parrella, who brings a tremendous amount of experience to that group in terms of being the position coach. Coach (Carl) Maslowski does a nice job with the linebackers. Coach (Joe) Ballard coaches the back. I think we’re very athletic. It’s an exciting group, it’s exciting top to bottom,” Ostrowsky went on to say.
“Minus our starters, our backups do a great job of communicating. You don’t have a defense if you don’t communicate,” said linebacker Levi Perry.
“A lot of times we’re so close to being where we’re supposed to be, but we’re just a fingertip away or just barely not getting that sack, not knocking down that ball, or something else happens. I think actually executing those big plays and having them fall our way would be really nice,” said senior defensive end Trever Kruzel.
“As a defense, we’ve improved leaps and bounds this year,” said senior defensive lineman Jordan Adediran. “Last year, we were learning a whole new defense with Coach Ballard taking over (as defensive coordinator). I think that having spring ball and having this (training) camp, we’ve all come together. We’re playing well, everyone knows what they’re doing and we’re playing with energy. I think it’s coming together nice.”
NMU begins the season at home against Northwood on Sept. 6.