NFL Draft Zone Spotlight with BCU’s Dawud Lane

Dawud Lane shows his support for Aunt Gail (Breast Cancer survivor)

Dawud Lane shows his support for Aunt Gail (Breast Cancer survivor)

Draft Zone Spotlight: Dawud Lane, LB, Bethune-Cookman University

When you watch the Bethune-Cookman games, big Dawud Lane stuck out and was a fierce competitor.  He was a very highly recruited defensive lineman/linebacker which attended Rutgers University in New Jersey.  He has been given a couple nicknames one is “Wood” which is short for Dawud because he lays wood when he plays.  Another one is “Mr. Energy” because he is always fired up.  I talked to one person at Bethune Cookman who said that Dawud would run a 4.5 all day every day at 6’2, 225 pounds.  That is very impressive.  Enough of me talking, check out the linebacker from B-CU.

How many teams were recruiting you coming out of high school and how did you make your decision?

Out of high school I was not that highly recruited maybe 9 or 10 D1-A offers. I made my decision to attend Rutgers originally where I earned my undergrad degree. The reason I went there because as a young man I wanted to stay home in New Jersey and I truly loved the coaching staff at Rutgers. Upon graduating there I still had eligibility so I decided to come down to Bethune Cookman to receive my masters while helping build this program.

Who was your favorite NFL team growing up, and did you have a player you rooted for?

That’s an easy one thee Dallas Cowboys, second greatest franchise ever next to the one that picks me up. Real Stars wear Stars and the stadium opens up to allow God the best view. The players I rooted for growing up was Deion Sanders & Lawrence Taylor I loved their showmanship, and ability to take over a game. The passion that LT plays with while rushing the passer and Deion ability to take risk in coverage because of his speed are characteristics I adopted into my game.

At your position, how do you break down film, please inform our readers what you look for when breaking down film?

Breaking down film is at this level of college and the pros are an essential aspect to being productive. At Rutgers the coaches would do detailed breakdowns of tendencies and third down plays in which at BCU we did not have the man power to do so. Thus I took it upon myself to study route combinations that coincide with down and distance to gain an advantage defensively. After taking a couple days studying that you move into o line stances to get run/pass reads and then gun mechanics as far as the QB and alignment for the Wide receivers, now there are plenty more but I have to preserve my career.

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Defensive backs and linebackers preview

The strength of this year’s Wildcat squad is the defensive “back seven”.  The Cats return 4 linebackers and 3 defensive backs who started at least 2 games last season.  The top 6 tacklers are all back, 5 of whom are either defensive backs or linebackers.  

Secondary

Terry Williams, who was a great Wildcat DB in his playing days (2ndround draft pick of the NY Jets 1988), has built quite a resume for himself as BCU’s defensive backs coach.  During his tenure at Bethune, Williams has coached Buchanan Award winner and NFL Pro Bowler Rashean Mathis, All-Pro Safety Nick Collins, AP first team All-American and Buchanan Award finalist Bobby Williams, and All-MEAC first team performer Travis Roland.   Thankfully for the Cats the accolades for the secondary extend beyond individual awards.  The Wildcat secondary has held opponents to an under 50% completion rate in 5 of the past 7 seasons and they produce their fair share of turnovers year in and year out.  Last year, ball hawks Arkee Smith and Michael Williams recorded 11 interceptions from the safety position alone.  Smith

BCU's Michael Williams intercepts a pass

has since graduated but the Cats will look to M. Williams for leadership and production in the defensive backfield.   Although he did not start a single game in 2010, M. Williams finished the year with 6 INTs, was fourth on the team in total tackles, and was voted as a first team All-HBCU performer by BoxToRow/BASN. 

Returning starters Aaron Bagsby (FS) and Daniel Rhodes (CB) join M. Williams in the defensive backfield.  Bagsby and Rhodes ended 2010 5th and 6th respectively in total tackles.  DJ Howard started two games in 2010 before suffering a season ending injury.  Howard is a versatile athlete who can play both safety and corner.  3 Star recruit Dion Hanks participated in eight contests as a true freshman and will likely see increased playing time this year.  Jean Fanor, Cincinnati transfer Quincy Quetant, North Carolina Prep signee Marquis Drayton, and incoming true freshman Nick Addison are all likely contributors in this year’s secondary.

The one area of criticism for this group last year is that they did not make enough plays near the line of scrimmage.  The secondary and particularly the safeties will need to do a better job of recognizing and providing support against the outside zone and zone read plays that plagued the Wildcat defense a season ago.     Grade- B

Linebackers

Ryan Lewis (81 tackles, 4 ints, and 5 sacks) and Reggie Sandilands (81 tackles, 1 int, and 3.5 sacks) team up to lead what is arguably the best linebacking corp in all of HBCU football.  Lewis has been named as the preseason MEAC Defensive Player of the Year and a 2nd team All-American by the Sports Network.  Sandilands has received his share of preseason recognition as well being named on the first team All-MEAC defensive squad as well as on several watch list.  Lewis and Sandilands share a rather symbiotic relationship.  Both players are entering their third year as starters for the Wildcats and their height (6-1), weight (220), and playing styles are nearly identical.  Both players even have flowing dreadlocks hanging from their helmets as they chase down opposing running backs.  The superlative duo will be joined by returning starter Rock Angrand and capable backup Jarkevis Fields.  The linebackers possess great closing speed, they do a very nice job of shedding blockers, and they’re very instinctive.  Rutgers transfer Al-Ghaffar Lane will add more speed, athleticism, and depth to this already talented bunch.  There really are no glaring weaknesses amongst this group.   Our grade- A.