Oh, So Close
The Bulldogs were just a few plays away in 2017 from going 7-3, rather than 4-6. They lost to Mount Ida (14-7), at Castleton (17-14) and to Maritime (17-14) by a combined 13 points.
Guess Who Is Back
The Bulldogs defense will be anchored by the return of junior Gene Baisden, Jr. (Tampa, Fla.), who played in all ten games a season ago. He recorded 42 tackles and even scored a touchdown on special teams.
Dean also welcomes be extensive experience on the offensive line – a group that helped the Bulldogs rush for more than 150 yards per game a season ago. All-ECFC performer Decory Billups (Manchester, N.H.) headlines the group that also features Justin Elekwuma (Atlanta, Ga.), who played in all ten games as a freshman last season, Herby Emmanuel (Fort Myers, Fla.) who saw action in eight in his first campaign and upperclassmen Ryan Burke (Shelton, Conn.) and Jordan Reyes (West Roxbury, Mass.).
The Road Ahead
Dean will face stiff competition in the ECFC once conference play begins but the Bulldogs were not shy from facing off against stout programs in the non-conference portion of their schedule. They open up the season on the road at Curry College, host Western Connecticut State, visit Salve Regina and travel to Becker. Three of those schools combined to go 21-9 a season ago and one of them – Curry made a postseason appearance.
You're So Defensive
In addition to Baisden, Jr. on defense for the Bulldogs, Dean returns several others who saw extensive playing time a season ago. Linebacker London Chambers (New Britain, Conn.) appeared in seven games, interior lineman Bret Williams (Essex, Mass.) saw action in all ten and fellow lineman Khoury Simmons (Taunton, Mass.) played in seven games as well.
Sophomore Malik Brown (Miami, Fla.) starred on Dean's men's basketball teams as a freshman last season, averaging 5.1 points and 3.2 rebounds while playing in 24 games. Now slotted as a defensive back for the Bulldogs, Brown will look to take his aggressive, attacking style from the hardwood to the football field.
41 members of this year's squad are freshmen, while seven others will suit up for the Bulldogs for the first time.
The Dean roster is made up of student-athletes from eight different states – Connecticut (12), Florida (10), Georgia (9), Massachusetts (18), New Hampshire (4), New Jersey (7), New York (4) and Rhode Island (4).
We Can Ball Too
Three Current Dean staff members were standout student-athletes during their playing days with the Bulldogs. Offensive coordinator Anthony Baskerville '12 and offensive line coach Brett Angel '09 were both named the College's male student-athlete of the year during their time, while A.J. Price '11 was a standout during his tenure as well.
Don't Forget About Me
Head coach Steve Tirrell was a force to be reckoned with during his playing days a Plymouth State. A 2001 inductee into the Plymouth State Hall of Fame, Tirrell still holds school records for sacks in a season (14) and career (35) and safeties in a season (3) and career (4).
Back in June, Dean added former NFL standout Sammy Morris to the coaching staff. Morris had a decorated NFL career, rushing for more than 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns while playing for the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and the Dallas Cowboys.