North Texas Daily

Five people who fly under the radar for North Texas football

Five people who fly under the radar for North Texas football

September 19
19:59 2017

At the end of every practice, the North Texas football team gets on a knee and listens to head coach Seth Littrell’s short spiel on the day’s practice. The team breaks into their position groups with offense going one way and defense going another – but before long, most are headed off the field and into the training room.

At that point, every player has one thing on their mind.

An ice bath.

“Getting in the ice tub relaxes you,” senior running back Jeffery Wilson said. “It releases a lot of things. You’re able to get in there and break down the muscles that you normally can’t stretch out after a long day.”

When players begin to roll off the field about 20 minutes before practice is over at Apogee Stadium, the strength and conditioning staff is performing the menial job of filling dozens of tubs with ice and water. While this is by no means a one-man job, the first name Wilson rattled off is the first name on this list.

A list of five underrated people who should get more recognition for the football team’s success:

Josh Woods and company

Now in his second season with North Texas, Woods and the strength and conditioning crew set out the protein shakes and get everything ready for the athletes to recover after games and practices.

Woods is an assistant strength and conditioning coach. Although he isn’t the top guy, Zack Womack, but he’s still vital to the player’s everyday recovery. This is especially the case with Wilson, who is coming off an injury he suffered last season.

“[The trainers] have been very important [to me],” Wilson said. “They became my best friends and that’s because of the time we’ve spent together.”

Marc Yellock

Another person who is largely unknown among fans and Mean Green faithful is defensive line coach Marc Yellock.

In his first season in Denton, Yellock has already made a huge imprint on the defense as a whole with the work he’s done with the defensive line. Despite the injury to starter Bryce English in the preseason, Yellock has still found a way to improve the defensive line from last season.

The run-stopping ability of the defensive line has been impressive. Opponents are only averaging 3.4 yards per carry against North Texas and most of that is a product of the defensive line using their hands to shed blocks and fill holes.

“Coach Yellock is a big key in everything that we do, he’s our foundation,” junior defensive lineman Ulaiasi Tauaalo said. “Yeah, coach Yellock should get more recognition, but he’s not that type of guy. He’s blue-collar, comes to work every day and we get the work in.”

Colton McDonald

One of the four starting linebackers for the Mean Green, McDonald is not the flashiest player on the defense. But he does rank third on the team in total tackles (17) through three games.

He made his debut for the Mean Green in the season opener against Lamar, so it’s understandable he’s not a familiar name to the casual fan. However, the West Texas A&M transfer will be a linchpin on the defense if he continues to rack up the tackles.

“Colton is a great player,” linebacker Brandon Garner said. “He’s strong. He’s fast. And he flies to the ball.”

Tommy Mainord

His exact job description is pass game coordinator/inside wide receivers coach, which alone speaks to his importance. Inside receivers Jaelon Darden and Michael Lawrence both had stellar games against Southern Methodist University in Week 2, and will continue to be important parts of the offense moving forward.

Lawrence has 13 catches for 179 yards and a touchdown on the year while Darden has racked up eight catches for 97 yards and a touchdown. A large majority of their success with quarterback Mason Fine comes from Mainord’s coaching.

“He knows a lot about the game and he really gets us the knowledge we need,” Lawrence said. “He does a tremendous job with what he does and it reflects on us.”

Quinn Shanbour

The backup quarterback – underrated? Yep.

Simply look at Shanbour’s ability to fill in for an injured Mason Fine late in the first half of Saturday’s game against Iowa. Shanbour may not see the field too often, but he stepped up and put the finishing touches on a touchdown drive that gave the Mean Green a 14-10 lead at the break.

Shanbour was selected to the leadership council before the season started because of his ability to communicate and help players on the offensive end – especially Fine.

Early on in camp, Shanbour put some pressure on Fine for the starting job. He might not be the starter, but everyone in the locker room knows and respects Shanbour.

“Quinn has done a lot of great things [for the team],” Littrell said. “The type of teammate he is, the type of leader he is, we expect him to have a role [on this team].”

Featured Image: Coach Marc Yellock makes a few adjustments during Mean Green Spring Football at Apogee Stadium on April 8, 2017 in Denton, Texas. Courtesy Rick Yeatts 

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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