Daniel Mock has had a pretty busy week.
The Middle Georgia State club football head coach not only had to game plan for undefeated football team, but he also had to make sure that all of the travel plans for his 53 players were taken care of.
One advantage Mock has is that this is his second straight trip to the national championship game in the National Club Football Association. The Knights defeated Miami-Ohio 32-27 a year ago to win the national championship and will meet Oakland at 3 p.m. on Saturday in Wheeling, West Virginia in hopes of bringing a second straight national championship back to Macon.
“It is a pretty exciting time for our football team, said Mock, whose team defeated Coppin State 42-6 in Salem, Virginia, last weekend to make it to the championship game. “These kids have worked hard to make it to this point of the season, and we just want to finish the season strong. We have a lot of players that are looking for exposure to play at another level, and the club football national championship game is the best way.”
Club football is different from playing at the collegiate level. Each player actually has to pay $400 at the beginning of the season to help defer costs.
Mock insists that his players are hungry to succeed.
“I would say that we have a lot of kids who did not have a chance to play college football for whatever reason, so they came here to play club football,” Mock said. We played Point University this year, which is an NAIA team, and we played them close the entire game, so I would say we are at the NAIA level of competition. But sometimes I have players fall in my lap that are much better than that level. Some kids get overlooked in high school, and this kind of football can help them move on the D1 or D2 football.”
Mock lists five defensive players who he feels can play at a much higher level that club football.
“Tyrell Deriso is a quality defensive lineman who is very quick off the ball, and two of our linebackers, Brandon Banks and Alfred Patrick, are both quality football players who will have an opportunity to play at a higher level,” Mock said. “Plus, we have Nathaniel McCrary, a defensive back who has 12 interceptions, and another, Keri Brown, who has eight.”
Mock lists three offensive players who stand out.
“Kevin Williams is a receiver who probably will be the conference player of the year, and De’Paris Carter has been very good for us also,” Mock said. “We also have a tight end, Anthony Brown, who is a great athlete, and I was shocked that he ended up here. But these guys have worked hard and deserve a chance to play at a higher level.”
Mock is expecting a very tough battle Saturday.
“Oakland is very similar to us, and we are expecting a very physical football game,” Mock said. “At this point, we are very thankful to still be playing football in December, and we will do everything we can to win the championship again.”