Moss ready for redemption

Moss earns preseason All-America honors; expects big things from FSU defense

BIG RAPIDS — Ferris State senior linebacker Tayo Moss knows the key to a good season for the Bulldog defense this season will be consistent effort and intensity for 60 minutes.

That type of effort is what coaches and fans have come to expect from Moss, who continues to receive preseason recognition after being named to the 2012 Beyond Sports College Network Division II Preseason All-America second team.

The online network recently announced its list of preseason All-America players and included a first, second and third team along with honorable mention selections. Earlier this summer, Moss was chosen as one of the top three players to watch in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this fall by the Beyond Sports College Network.

HITTING TIME: Ferris State linebacker Tayo Moss (4) prepares to make a hit on a Hillsdale player last season. Moss was named to the 2012 Beyond Sports College Network Division II Preseason All-America second-team. (Pioneer file photo)

Moss said he was excited to be recognized as one of the nation’s best at the linebacker position, but admits none of the accolades will satisfy his true goals for his senior season.

“It feels great, but it’s all about winning the GLIAC and bringing Ferris State back to its prime in the 90s,” he said. “We’ve had some decent seasons recently, but we haven’t gone as far as we wanted to.”

A 2011 All-GLIAC first-team selection, Moss received all-conference recognition for the first time last fall after finishing the 2011 regular-season campaign as the GLIAC’s leading tackler (10.7 tackles per game) with 35 solo stops and 85 assisted hits for 118 total tackles. Moss had 10 tackles or more in seven games, including the last three of the season when he twice had 15 stops or more.

This season, the Bulldogs need to bring more consistency after giving up 24.7 points per game, which ranked seventh in the GLIAC.

“We need to play with high intensity throughout the whole game,” he said. “Last year we played good for a while and then we’d let off a little. We need to play 100 percent the whole game.”

Moss predicts that this year’s Bulldog defense will be one of the best in the GLIAC, returning starting defensive ends Jordan Morgan and Brad Iskow and will be aided by the return of defensive back William Miles, who missed the entire 2011 season due to injury.

“We’ve got two of the best defensive ends in the country,” he said, referring to Morgan and Iskow. “That along with our linebackers and the help we’re getting from the defensive backs from Grand Rapids (Community College) and getting Will Miles back — we’re really excited to have him back.”

Moss said both he and the rest of the team have bought in to new head coach Tony Annese’s philosophies and are excited to realize their potential this season.

After a few months of working with new defensive coordinator Ryan Oshnock, Moss said he is excited to lead the Bulldog defense this fall.

“I have great relationships with the new coaches,” he said. “Coach Oshnock is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had — he’s young but he knows what he’s talking about. Coach Annese is very smart and is bringing something new to Ferris.”

Additionally, Moss was honored in 2011 as a member of the Don Hansen Division II All-Super Region Three second team on the defensive side.

Ferris State will officially begin the 2012 season under first-year head coach Tony Annese on the road with its lone non-league game on Thursday, Aug. 30, at the University of St. Francis (Ill.) in Joliet, Ill.

The Bulldogs’ 11-game schedule in 2012 features five home contests at FSU’s Top Taggart Field along with six consecutive night games to open the campaign. Ferris State’s home opener is scheduled for Sept. 15 when the Ashland Eagles make the trip to Big Rapids to square off against the Bulldogs. Kickoff for the initial home game is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) under the lights.

Season and single-game tickets for the 2012 campaign are currently on sale now. For more information on ticket sales, please contact the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or visit www.FerrisStateBulldogs.com.

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