FORT SCOTT, Kan. -- Despite allowing 43 points per game in three consecutive losses after a season-opening win, Fort Scott Community College features a defense stocked with major college prospects for 2013.
The Greyhounds have produced defensive stars aplenty in recent years -- including Jacquian Williams and Jason Pierre-Paul, the Super Bowl-winning New York Giants' duo from last season, after careers at South Florida, and former Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David, now an NFL rookie with Tampa Bay.
“The best thing about this entire bunch is that they love to play football,” Fort Scott coach Curtis Horton said. “And they have fun with it."
Hill, a May graduate with three years of remaining eligibility after this season, turned down offers from Kansas and Arizona State.
“He’s fast off the edge and quick,” Horton said.
Taimatuia, a sophomore and an expected May graduate, landed at Fort Scott from American Samoa. He picked Boise State over offers from Indiana and Oregon State, among others. Still, Taimatuia said he plans to take an official visit to watch the Beavers play Stanford in November.
“A hard-working kid and he produces,” Horton said. “The big thing for Justin was spring ball. That’s when he got a lot of interest."
Short led the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference in interceptions last year.
Linebacker Stephan Martin, a December graduate out of Lake Alfred, Fla., is a “typical Florida kid,” according to Horton, with speed to burn and good size. Penn State has expressed interest.
Fellow sophomore Marceice "Bam Bam" Jackson earned offers last year from Minnesota, Texas State, Memphis and Florida Atlantic. He returned to Fort Scott this season to correct academic deficiencies.
“I think he’s one of the best linebackers in the country,” Horton said. “He’s got the size, the speed, the football savvy that everybody’s looking for.”
Offensively, receiver Jared Dangerfield, in his first year at Fort Scott after transferring from Towson State, has already collected offers from several schools, including Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech and South Alabama.
Offensive tackle Christian Mayer is looking for his first offer. At 6-foot-7 and 355 pounds, Mayer is a student of the game and a top performer in the classroom out of Shawnee, Kan. Rice, Toledo and Tulane have displayed interest.
“Great feet for a guy his size,” Horton said. “He just needed more experience, and he’s gotten bigger, faster and better.”
About 90 miles southeast of Fort Scott, Independence (Kan.) C.C. remains winless through three games. Coach Steve Carson said he has a strong class of newcomers and a few 2013 prospects whom he expects to attract attention this fall.
Tight end Sean McKissack possesses the most upside, the coach said.
“Not a lot of people know about him right now,” Carson said. “But if he continues what he’s doing, he’s got a chance to be a real good one. He runs well, but he’d just not been in the weight room before he got here.”
McKissack is expected to graduate in May with three seasons of remaining eligibility.