By ADAM POTTER
Confidence is key for this year’s Colonels’ squad, as coaches and players alike consistently rave about each aspect of a deep, explosive and healthy roster.
The staff and team continually mention the hardworking approach that not only reliable upperclassmen bring to the table, but also humble and coachable freshmen and transfers.
Both players and coaches say they have seen improvements on offense and defense, as the Colonels bring back a solid run game, and big play defense, while also providing an aerial attack that seems focused on big time playmaking ability.
The defense should also be more effective than ever, with returning veterans quickly melding with young, fast-paced talent, from the front seven, and through the secondary.
Depth at each position is impressive this year as well. Coaches made it a point that this is the deepest roster at each position in quite some time.
It should be noted that there is much competition at every position this year, so several names, new and old could see plenty of action come Thursday.
Coach Dean Hood has taken notice of the team’s work ethic, and ability to get on the field and improve. When asked about how the team managed on their own over the summer, he made it known that the players had worked extremely hard while preparing for camp over the summer.
“There’s no way these guys were sitting on the couch eating potato chips,” Hood said.
Key players have made themselves present since training camp, and moving forward. Highlights of camp and scrimmages were loaded with positive words regarding new transfers, Bennie Coney and Dy’Shawn Mobley, from Cincinnati and UK respectively, among others.
Quarterback Bennie Coney made a lot of noise at scrimmages earlier in the month, mainly attributed to his big-play-making ability.
Coney threw several major completions, including four touchdowns in his scrimmage efforts, two of which going for 40+ yards.
When asked about his transition to Eastern, Coney mentioned his comfort at his new school, mainly attributed to the team-first attitude of his new teammates. The competitive, yet humble new QB said he feels like the team immediately accepted him, and feels confident in his ability, as well as his teammates’.
Fellow teammate and UK transfer Dy’Shawn Mobley has also made his presence known, presenting a powerful, and electric running style. Mobley made an immediate connection with Bennie Coney, and they’ve proven that on the field.
Each brings a style of play that Eastern is used to, while also bringing explosiveness and playmaking ability that should improve both the running and passing game.
The 2014 Colonels are a hardworking crew. Paired with confidence for the team, and humility amongst themselves, this adaptive crew could see their hard work truly come to fruition this Thursday against the Colonials of Robert Morris University.
Their recent improvements should give the Colonels a great chance of starting off this new season with a W.
The Colonels’ season opens Aug. 28 at Robert Morris University, with its home opener hitting on Sept. 13 against OVC rival Morehead State University.