WR Antonio Thomas

2002 Statistics

Coach: Gary Darnell
40-29, 6 years
2002 Record: 4-8
at Michigan LOST 12-35
at Purdue LOST 24-28
at Buffalo WON 31-17
at Bowling Green LOST 45-48 (2OT)
at Ball State LOST 7-17
at Central Michigan WON 35-10

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

Sparks will fly on the offensive side of the ball with Munson and Reed. The problem is with the Broncos' tough schedule. It is unlikely, with the problems in the trenches (on both sides of the ball), that this team will make any major strides from 2002's performance-level. DT Jason Babin is their star, but he will have trouble duplicating last year's success with the inexperience surrounding him upfront. WMU's (size) problems in the trenches showed as they were worn down late in 2002's games - they outscored opponents by 52 points in the first quarter, but lost every quarter afterwards. Coach Darnell and his staff are going to have to make changes and adjustments to improve. Predictable will equal losses, especially if the running game never gets going, a marginally good bet with their OL. Can they be creative with their TE(s) enough to keep opponents guessing?

We expect a fresh and hungry WMU team to start the year well, including a surprisingly good showing at Michigan State. Virginia will bring the Broncos back to earth, but WMU should continue their success with possible wins in road games against Ohio and Eastern Michigan. A 4-1/3-2 start could be crucial to bowl chances as then the Broncos entertain Bowling Green, (at) Northern Illinois, Marshall and (at) Connecticut in successive weeks. This rough stretch combined with a late season loss at Toledo should prevent a 6 or 7 win Bronco team from going to a bowl game. Nevertheless, a team with this much talent should provide enough success (and competitive failure) to keep them happily cheering late into many fourth quarters in Kalamazoo.

Projected 2003 record: 3-9
CB Tony Carr
QB Chad Munson
DE Jason Babin
LB Dan Steinau
QB - 3 DL - 2.5
RB - 3 LB - 1.5
WR - 2.5 DB - 4
OL - 1 ..

Passing: Chad Munson, 309-162-17, 2160 yds., 14 TD

Rushing: Philip Reed, 221 att., 1053 yds., 10 TD

Receiving: Antonio Thomas, 45 rec., 439 yds., 3 TD

Scoring: Philip Reed, 11 TD, 66 pts.

Punting: Adam Anderson, 21 punts, 35.5 avg.

Kicking: Anthony Apa, 8-14 FG, 22-22 PAT, 46 pts.

Tackles: Jason Feldpausch, 104 tot., 49 solo

Sacks: Jason Babin, 15 sacks

Interceptions: Tony Carr, 5 for 30 yds.

Kickoff returns: Tyrone Walker, 13 ret., 32.8 avg.

Punt returns: Kendrick Mosley, 29 ret., 15.2 avg.


OFFENSE: Jermaine Lewis-WR, Chris Montgomery-OG, Jake Gasaway-C, Kevin Kramer-OG, Fred McCants-OT, Mobolaji Afariogun-TE
DEFENSE: Chris Browning-DE, Jeff Westgate-DT, Ryan Iorillo-NG, Jason Malloy-LB, Bryan Lape-LB, Carlos Smith-FS

written by Dave Bagchi

There is a lot of optimism on the offensive side of the ball for the Broncos. Despite 2002's early struggles, the Broncos ended with 89 points over their final three games. Returning this season are the two main catalysts in QB Chad Munson and RB Phil Reed. The unheralded senior Reed rushed for 1,053 yards and 10 TDs. He is a straight-ahead runner with excellent spin moves and has shown soft hands (15 receptions). WMU runs the one-back, but expect backup RB sophomores Trovon Riley and Daniel Marks to get their share of playing time. In those last three games, both backs emerged - Riley with 109 yards versus Central Michigan and Marks with 93 against Eastern Michigan. Coaches rave about Marks, a 225-pounder who found his way to Kalamazoo all the way from Miami. But overall, the Broncos ran the ball just over 45% of the time, gaining just over 1,600 yards. They should invest in these upcoming backs more, giving the entire crew more than 32 rushing attempts per game.

Chad Munson took over in week six and never looked back. His 328-yard performance against (then unranked) Bowling Green proved his worth. A pocket passer with a strong arm, Munson at times was interception prone, finishing with 17. The coaches know Munson is a playmaker, making us all expect big things. The Broncos have depth at quarterback with fifth-year senior Jon Drach, last season's starter before Munson. Drach is a scrambler with good decision-making capacities (only four INTs in 151 throws). The pair combined for nearly 3,000 yards in 2002 as the pass-happy Broncos threw about 55% of their plays. They need to have an ostensible rotation, allowing each to come in to keep it fresh and unpredictable. Alone, neither is good enough to take them to the next level, but together they might.

Returning four seniors in the receiving core typically is not considered a weakness. In the Broncos' case, there is more to this book than the cover. The losses of all-conference WR Jermaine Lewis (17.2 yards per catch) and TE Mobolaji Afariogun (team-leading five TDs) leaves a big question mark. Back is 6'4, 223-pound senior WR Antonio Thomas. The problem - he averaged 9.8 yards per catch. He will be flanked by two inexperienced players vying for the starting spot in 6'3 junior Tyrone Walker and 6'3 Brandon Johnson. Coaches are most excited about 6'3 senior go-to-guy Kendrick Mosley getting his opportunity to shine as the third WR. Mosley can do a little bit of everything (reverses, punt-returns) but has never before been "the man" on offense. At TE, the Broncos will try to replace Afariogun by committee. Sophomore Tony Scheffler will get the bulk of the receptions, while juniors Anthony Kiner and former linebacker Erik Oleson will handle most blocking duties. This position is vital without any fullbacks upon which to rely and a line that is going to need help.

Last season the Broncos gave up the most sacks in the MAC, 50. Offensive line coach Mike Cummings has the tall order of having to replace all but one starter. And that starter, 6'6 junior OG Kyle Ras, has but one year of starting experience. Converted DL junior Chad Wangerin will play one OT, and under-weight 6'8 sophomore Walter Stith (a former TE) will take bookend tackle spot. Senior Charles Missant is expected to start at center while the early pick is sophomore Mark Ottney to take the other OG position. The group will obviously have to gel quickly for Munson and Reed to have any success. But this is one of those patch-work units that has potential both ways. They will either scrap their way to marginal success, or they will flop and be the focus of most offensive woes.


RB Philip Reed


Returning Starters in bold
QB Chad Munson-Sr (6-3, 210) Jon Drach-Sr (6-4, 220)
RB Philip Reed-Sr (5-10, 210) Trovon Riley-So (5-11, 210)
WR Tyrone Walker-Jr (6-3, 190) Greg Jennings-So (6-1, 190)
WR Antonio Thomas-Sr (6-4, 223) Chris Chestnut-Sr (6-0, 191)
WR Kendrick Mosley-Sr (6-3, 205) Brandon Johnson-Sr (6-3, 201)
TE Anthony Kiner-Sr (6-5, 280) Tony Scheffler-So (6-5, 250)
OT Walter Stith-So (6-8, 231) Dominic Moran-Fr (6-5, 280)
OG Kyle Ras-Jr (6-6, 288) D.J. Lockhart-So (6-4, 268)
C Charles Missant-Sr (6-3, 280) Joel Pfaendtner-Fr (6-4, 275)
OG Mark Ottney-So (6-5, 287) C.R. Moultry-Sr (6-6, 330)
OT Chad Wangerin-Sr (6-4, 298) Brandon James-So (6-5, 280)
K Robert Menchinger-Jr (5-10, 165) Anthony Apa-Sr (5-7, 185)



written by Dave Bagchi

Despite its high conference rankings, allowing 30+ points in 6-of-12 games and a -12 TO margin were two stats that show how far the Broncos defense still has to go. The two largest question marks on defense will be how to replace a graduation depleted linebacking core as well take the pressure off Jason Babin with improved play along the defensive front from some new faces.

The Broncos return three starters in a secondary that was first in the MAC (21st in all Div 1-A) in pass defense. Junior DB Tony Carr and senior Sam Reynolds combined for 22 starts, 97 tackles and 5 interceptions. Carr is a lock to start after a breakout 2002. This fall will mark a transition year at the other corner spot where a bevy of juco players are primed to make their contributions. Highlighting this will be freshman Jimmie Vincent and junior Willie Pope (expected to beat out Reynolds by season's start), both products of Coach Darnell's recruiting prowess in Florida. Several years ago, the Broncos modified its defense to include an extra safety in place of an outside linebacker. This 4-2-5 formation is anchored by a former walk-on, all-MAC senior Jason Feldpausch. 2002 was a breakout season as Feldpausch had 104 tackles, 3 INTs, 8 passes defended and 5 forced fumbles in garnering team defensive MVP honors. He will be complimented by hard-hitting sophomore FS Kevin Ford and junior SS Scott Robinson.

The Broncos also finished second in the conference in sacks and first in total defense (330.7 ypg). The star of this unit and just the 9th Bronco in school history to be named an All-American is DT Jason Babin. Babin finished fourth in the NCAA in sacks with 15, second in tackles-for-losses with 26 and was named MAC defensive player of the year. He is a 3rd-team Preseason NationalChamps.net All-American for 2003, an honor placing amongst the best in our eyes.

Graduation(s) at LB have left question marks. Expected 2003 starters junior Willie Miller and sophomore Josh Behrens are both banged up, but both are expected to be ready. Waiting in the wings are redshirt freshman Paul Tithof and a trio more of JC and walk-ons, lead by junior Dan Steinau. Steinau, Anthony Belmonte and Steve Robbins all saw extensive action during Spring ball, and will be prepared if Miller and Behrens are not ready. The bulk of these guys are little, giving optimism to opposing OCs. They have no chance against any bigger teams, not with their smallish down-linemen.

Graduated senior Chris Browning was key in taking the pressure of Babin along the front. Undersized senior Hausia Faleofa and senior Jon Jones will get the starts at DT. Babin will be flanked by inexperienced and basically untested line-mates. Trial-by-fire will be an understatement with Michigan State and Virginia two of their first three tilts.


DE Jason Babin


Returning Starters in bold
DE Jack Gitler-Jr (6-2, 245) Nick Melcher-Jr (6-3, 228)
DT Hausia Faleofa-Sr (6-2, 245) Joe Alvarez-So (6-2, 240)
NG Jon Jones-Sr (6-3, 290) Duane Robinson-Fr (6-5, 255)
DE Jason Babin-Sr (6-4, 265) Ernest Osborne-Jr (6-5, 235)
LB Willie Miller-Jr (6-3, 235) Paul Tithof-Fr (6-1, 202)
LB Dan Steinau-Jr (5-11, 215) Josh Behrens-So (6-2, 250)
CB Tony Carr-Jr (6-1, 180) Eugene Childs-Sr (6-2, 197)
CB Sam Reynolds-Sr (6-2, 193) Willie Pope-Jr (6-2, 185)
WS Jason Feldpausch-Sr (5-10, 195) Shawntey Lopez-Jr (6-2, 206)
SS Scott Robinson-Jr (6-0, 179) Jon Hall-Fr (6-0, 193)
FS Kevin Ford-So (5-11, 200) Christian Hodges-Sr (6-2, 195)
P Adam Anderson-Jr (6-0, 193) Matthew Sitz-Fr (6-5, 205)




WMU should once again have one of the best special teams in the MAC. PR Kendrick Mosley averaged 15.2 yards and had 2 touchdowns on punt returns, and Tyrone Walker averaged 32.8 yards and had 2 touchdowns on kick returns - both return. The Broncos also blocked 5 kicks! Junior PK Robert Menchinger (7-of-9 on FGAs) returns. The only weakness comes in the punting game where junior Adam Anderson (35.5 yards per kick) is their choice, for the time being.


This Bronco offense should be a lot better than people expect. They are a deep group who will do a lot of damage, permitting their offensive line lattices into a solid crew and vital players stay healthy… Jason Babin called QB Chad Munson the MVP of the summer, as far as work ethic goes. Munson has added to his bench press and just continues to get stronger. This ethic will help him keep an edge on backup Jon Drach. Both played well this spring and give the Broncos one of the best QB duos in the MAC. Let's not forget about sophomore Blayne Baggett either… The running game is in good hands, and the Broncos have three distinct backs who can give them an offensive edge. Reed is the slugger, Riley is the slasher, and sophomore Daniel Marks is a combination of the two, proving that he could be the best of the three by season's end… There is heavy competition at WR, which should ultimately benefit Munson. Jennings and Walker are battling for the third spot, and both bring it to the table each practice. A newbie in the receiving corps to watch is Jermaine Copeland. He has 4.38 speed and could be a star of the future… Center Charles Missant really came to the forefront and continued to improve throughout the spring. Worries about the depleted offensive line (four starters lost) are slowly evaporating. They should be set to go and ready to fight by the time MAC season starts.

Jason Babin proved he is up to his All-American worth, notching a pair of sacks in the spring game, while wreaking havoc and drawing double teams along the front throughout nearly every practice and scrimmage. He said he has been working on drills to get him to use his hands more, allowing him better maneuverability. There is a good amount of buzz on his end-mate Jack Gitler. He's a hustler who goes full speed all the time and should rake in better numbers this year with all the attention being paid to J.B. … Senior DT Hausia "House" Faleofa suffered a neck injury this spring and sat out a good part of drills. He should be fine for the start of fall practices, but his absence allowed sophomore Joe Alvarez to jump in and get much need reps… I have a good feeling about JUCO LB Dan Steinau. He had a good spring and is extremely enthusiastic about helping this defensive squad. I expect him to step in and claim a starting LB spot early in the year. This LB group will have some depth, which will be needed in later stages of the season… Safeties coach, Wally Ake is very confident in Kevin Ford stepping in to replace the departed Carlos Smith. He also mentioned that any member of his "second squad" has the ability to step in for a first-squad-er and adequately plug the gap. Redshirt freshman CB Jimmy Vincent is a talent. He could work himself into a #2 spot.

Walker and Jennings will return kicks this season with Mosley bringing back punts. These return teams should give the Broncos great field position for their offense to work with. The kicking chores are leaning toward Menchinger, who, along with punter Adam Anderson, has been credited as working extremely hard this off-season.