xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Johns Hopkins football hopes to have three players return on defense this week

Last week's bye was a relaxing time for many Johns Hopkins players, but it was especially beneficial for three defensive players.

Senior cornerback Jimmy Holder, senior linebacker Hani Annabi and junior defensive back T.J. Reeves have practiced fully thus far and are set to play in the Blue Jays' road game against Centennial Conference foe Dickinson on Friday at 7 p.m.

Advertisement

Holder, a Fallston resident and Loyola Blakefield graduate who was tied for the team lead in pass breakups last season, started the first two games this fall, but has sat out the last three.

Annabi led the defense in tackles with 53 in 2013, but he has yet to play this year. And Reeves recorded 21 tackles and three pass breakups as a key reserve last season.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Their potential return could boost coach Jim Margraff and Johns Hopkins (5-0 overall and 4-0 in the Centennial), which remained at No. 9 in the latest American Football Coaches Association poll.

"Any time you can put that type of talent back into your rotation, you're in great shape," he said Wednesday morning. "And the nice thing is, we play a lot of guys defensively. So hopefully, it will be a seamless transition in terms of getting those guys acclimated to game speed."

Holder's absence has been filled by junior Charlie Kassis, who has 10 tackles, two pass breakups and two passes defensed. Annabi has been replaced by several players, but Margraff said Holder, Annabi and Reeves would begin slowly.

"We'll ease them back in," he said. "Other guys have been starting ahead of them, but they'll rotate fairly early in the game."

Advertisement

Saturday's game on the road against the Red Devils (2-3, 2-2) is the first of back-to-back night games for the Blue Jays, who practiced Sunday night and will practice again Thursday night. Margraff cited a note from director of athletic communications Ernie Larossa that the program hasn't played a Friday night game on the road since 1996.

"It's something that I think our guys are very excited about, but as a coach, you're always concerned when you haven't done something in a while," Margraff said. "So in preparation, we did practice on Sunday night, and we'll have a walkthrough on Thursday night just to make sure that we're used to the lights.

"We do that during the summer also to beat the heat and prepare for the season. We have back-to-back night games. So it's something our guys are pretty excited about."

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement