Spring practice is still a month away and the College has already lost two projected starters for the upcoming season. Senior safety Michael Alvarado and junior offensive lineman Jake Marcey are no longer with the football program as of this semester. Neither will be with the team for the 2010 season.
The program offered little comment, other than a tersely worded statement issued through spokesman Pete Clawson.
“Jake Marcey and Mike Alvarado have been suspended indefinitely from the football team for a violation of team rules. Neither will participate in spring drills or during the 2010 season,” it said. “The pair currently remained enrolled in the College.”
No response was given as to whether Marcey would be allowed to rejoin the team for his senior season in 2011.
Alvarado appeared in all 14 games for the Tribe in 2009, totaling 18 tackles and recovering a fumble. Marcey started all 14 games at left tackle, while anchoring the College’s line. The junior had started all 25 games of his collegiate career.
Overall, this is certainly a huge loss for the Tribe, coming even before injuries hit in the spring and preseason. Alvarado was plagued by rules violations throughout his career, and frequently found himself on the wrong side of Head Coach Jimmye Laycock, losing playing time to graduating senior Rob Livingston as a result. He was expected to lead a young Tribe secondary, that will now have to replace both starting safeties with players that have accrued little to no game experience.
The loss of Marcey will be even greater. The junior was a significant part of the offensive line’s growth over the course of last season — protecting quarter R.J. Archer’s blind side, while opening up lanes for the Tribe backs – and figured to be a anchoring force for the next several seasons. Instead of returning four of five starting lineman, the College will now be forced to replace starters at the two most important positions, center and left tackle. That unit’s depth will be severely tested in 2010.