Coach: Tom Rogish, (sixth season, 13-36)
2012 record: 3-7 overall, 1-6 Empire 8
Outlook: There's optimism at Frostburg, with the return of four starting offensive linemen, led by senior Darius Arrington, a first-team all-conference pick a year ago. Another returner, junior quarterback Ken Emmons, threw for 1,523 yards and nine touchdowns in his first season as a starter. Still, the Bobcats ended last season with five straight losses by a combined score of 172-23, ranking 218th out of 239 Div. III teams in total defense.
Team: Johns Hopkins
Coach: Jim Margraff (24th season, 157-81-3)
2012 record: 10-2, 8-1 Centennial Conference
Outlook: Seventeen starters return for the Blue Jays, who are the preseason favorite to win their fifth straight Centennial Conference title. Among them are dual-threat senior quarterback Robbie Matey (2,453 passing yards, 276 rushing yards, 18 total touchdowns) and four starting offensive linemen, who each played major roles in the team's run to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Still, Hopkins will need to fill the voids created by the graduations of running back Jonathan Rigaud and linebacker Taylor Maciow, the conference offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively.
Coach: Mike Hoyt (Second year)
2012 record: 0-10 overall, 0-9 Centennial Conference
Outlook: The only place to go is up for McDaniel, which last season allowed more than twice as many points as it scored. One reason for optimism is the return of senior running back Joe Rollins, who gained 1,243 yards, averaging 6.1 per carry, last season. Another is the return of senior linebacker Mike Cousar, a second-team all-conference pick with 98 tackles. A key will be the improvement of a defense that allowed an average of 36.2 points a year ago. The Green Terror has been picked to finish last in the 10-team Centennial Conference.
Coach: Sherman Wood (15th season, 101-49)
2012 record: 9-3, 6-1
Outlook: It will be next man up for the Sea Gulls, who must replace eight starters on offense and five on defense after last season advancing to their third straight NCAA tournament. One of the biggest questions will be how sophomore John Dunbar replaces record-setting quarterback Dan Griffin. Salisbury will get back senior slotback Nick Aloi (Atholton), who missed most of last season with a broken ankle. Defensively, senior defensive back Greg Stanton tied for second in the NCAA last season with seven interceptions.
Coach: Ed Hottle (third season, 4-16)
2012 record: 2-8 overall, 2-7 Middle Atlantic Conference
Outlook: All 11 offensive starters return for the Mustangs, including running back K.K. Smith (Spalding), who rushed for 1,357 yards to lead the Middle Atlantic Conference. The return of middle linebacker Donnell Brown (Poly), who led the league in tackles as a freshman, should help a defense that allowed an average of 30 points and nearly 400 yards of total offense. The team was picked to finish seventh in the 10-team conference in a preseason coaches' poll.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun