As always, expectations are sky high on the football field at Nassau Community College. The Lions, who have been among the top junior college programs in the country for decades, are coming off back-to-back 9-2 seasons, both of which ended with playoff losses to Brooklyn’s ASA College.
With an extraordinary recruiting class, one that includes 11 players who were ranked in the ESPN Top 125, Nassau will again be in the hunt for a Northeast Football Conference title and a bowl bid. The program has won 11 conference championships and appeared in 19 bowl games.
Joe Osovet, who played for a Nassau team that was ranked No. 2 in the nation in the early 90s, and served as an assistant for 17 seasons, takes over as head coach for the Lions. He is the architect of Nassau’s high-powered spread offense.
“I have waited a long time for this opportunity,” Osovet said. “I can’t tell you how excited I am about the opportunity to keep the winning tradition going, and to work with my great staff and the student-athletes. I look forward to great successes both in the classroom and on the playing field.”
A slew of talent, on both sides of the ball, should make Osovet’s transition a smooth one. The Lions are deep at the skill positions, and the defense has no shortage of high-profile recruits.
Freshman quarterback Ben Holmes, whose play on the field reminds Osovet of Cleveland Browns rookie Johnny Manziel, takes the reins of the offense. Holmes, who hails from upstate Orchard Park, played for Southeast Prep in Texas last year. He’s comfortable in the pocket, and makes things happen when he has to improvise.
Sophomore Yahkee Johnson, who averaged 8.4 yards per carry in 2013, leads a crew of talented running backs. Marcus Levy, a transfer from Bowling Green, and freshman Kahlil Lewin, out of Erasmus High School, one of the top-ranked running backs in New York, are explosive.