Aug. 24, 2011
DAVIS, Calif. - With football preseason camp underway, UC Davis is preparing for the 2011 schedule and the final year in the Great West Conference. In anticipation of the season opener at Arizona State, the Aggies will have a position-by-position preview leading up to the Sept. 1 kickoff. Today the tight ends are featured.
UC Davis will have to replace its most decorated player from a year ago, as the Aggies graduated tight end Dean Rogers. Last season Rogers was named to the All-Great West Conference First Team, Associated Press FCS All-America Third Team and AFCA FCS Coaches All-America Team. His All-American status carried over to a professional career, where he was signed by the San Diego Chargers to a three-year contract. Despite the heavy accolades for Rogers, the Aggies will combine a team effort to fill the void in 2011.
"As good as Dean Rogers was last year, we don't think we're going to miss a beat," said assistant head coach Mike Moroski. "These guys are going to do a great job by committee. We're excited about our young players and Mike Cody really proved himself during the spring. We're thrilled at where we are in regards to the tight end position."
Senior Michael Cody (6-4, 250) is the lone upperclassman in the tight ends group. He will bid for the top spot after serving as the backup to Rogers a year ago. Cody transferred from Sierra College to join the Aggies in 2010, where he appeared in 10 games and hauled in five catches for 44 yards.
Sophomore Taylor Sloat (6-4, 245) has also become a dependable target at tight end and will have the chance to earn a starting role. Sloat appeared in just one game last season as a true freshman and did not record any stats.
Sophomore Cameron Sentance (6-4, 250) will provide depth at the position and could land a spot in the rotation. He appeared in eight games last season as a reserve wideout, registering one 15-yard catch at California.
True freshman Mark Martindale (6-3, 255) will be a factor at the tight end position, while also serving as a full back in some offensive packages. Martindale is one of the top recruits in the 2011 freshman class and will likely see the most playing time of any true freshman this season.
Sophomore Wesley O'Brien (6-4, 250) enters his third season with the Aggies and has showed continued development this fall. While UC Davis approaches the tight end position as a group effort, O'Brien will push for a spot on the depth chart this season.
The tight ends are rounded out by two incoming freshman, Atlas Smith (6-4, 225) and Connor Pearson (6-5, 215).
Assistant head coach Mike Moroski takes over tight end responsibilities for 2011 and will direct the group this season. One of the youngest positions on the roster, UC Davis will receive contributions from multiple tight ends while trying to pick up where they left off last season.
Season tickets are on sale and available through the campus Ticket Office at (530) 752-1915 or by visiting ucdavisaggies.com.
Position-By-Position Preview Schedule:
Offensive Line - Monday, Aug. 8
Defensive Line - Wednesday, Aug. 10
Quarterbacks - Friday, Aug. 12
Linebackers - Monday, Aug. 15
Wide Receivers - Wednesday, Aug. 17
Defensive Backs - Friday, Aug. 19
Running Backs - Monday, Aug. 22
Tight Ends - Wednesday, Aug. 24
Special Teams - Friday, Aug. 26