Monday, March 9, 2009

Appalachian's next (defensive) big thing

It could be middle linebacker Jacque Roman, who is already a pretty big deal both on the football field (he's all Southern Conference) and off it, at 240 pounds.

While Roman had a huge junior year, safety Mark LeGree captured most of the national defensive attention with his record-setting ten interceptions. For his part, Roman led the Mountaineers in tackles with 130, including 6.5 for losses. He also had five QB hurries, four recovered fumbles, three sacks and two interceptions.

Roman was so good, in fact, that the Appalachian coaches nominated him rather than LeGree for Southern Conference defensive player of the year honors. That was nothing against Mark; they simply were appreciating Roman's entire body of work. Fittingly, both made The Sports Network's all-American first team.

But Roman is more than just a football guy. He's been writing his own rap songs for some time now, and doing a pretty good job of it. So good that Appalachian's baseball centerfielder, Rand Smith, has chosen one of Roman's songs for his introduction music when he comes to bat in games.

Roman, by the way, is a family-friendly wrapper. In the past, he's said he writes songs that his grandmother wouldn't mind listening to.--Stan Olson