Photo by Hobe Brunson
A MATTER OF A FEW YARDS may have moved Jensen Beach linebacker Xavier Preston from the ranks
of the good high school lineback-
ers to the thick of the collegiate
Midway through the 2012 season,
the Falcons shifted their defense
just enough to put the then-junior
in better position to make plays.
“We had him at outside line-
backer on the line and moved him
back to show more of his skills,”
said head coach John Fey. “He
can make plays in space. The big-
gest asset for Xavier right now is
Preston, at 6-2, 220 pounds,
has “the size to be a really good
football player” according to Fey.
He finished the 2012 season with
49 tackles, including 13 behind
the line. He sacked the quarter-
back three times. In January, he
got his first scholarship offer, from
the University of South Florida.
“I’m playing in space more,”
Preston said. “I’m actually dropped
back. I would say I’ll come up and
stop the run better.”
Preston also drops into coverage
a good bit, and the passing game
is nothing to new him because
he plays at receiver on offense.
He only caught three passes last
season, but both he and his coach
expect him to be more involved in
the offensive attack this season.
He attributes 7-on- 7 games to
improving his skills at receiver,
though it is on defense that he is
making his name.
Preston’s also doing it with
hard work, including in the weight
room. He played at 210 pounds
last season, but is already up to
220 and could hit 225 or more
before the regular season begins.
“He’s worked his tail off to get
where he is,” Fey said. “He was
not on the radar, but he’s really
dedicated himself to the sport.
He’s really matured, worked his
way into being a leader.”
– Brian McCallum
FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL FLORIDA 2013