Eagles in fighting trim as they unveil new football uniforms

Aug. 15, 2013 @ 06:43 PM

If you’re out and about and come across some thick, muscular guys with “NCCU” across the chests of their T-shirts, you can find out if they’re N.C. Central football players by getting them to recite their head coach’s bottom-line question: “Is it about you, or is it about the team?” NCCU senior left tackle Charles Goodwin said.

In other words, NCCU’s Jordan Reid unquestionably is The Man as far as the team’s quarterbacking duties are concerned. He has a strong arm, and his mobility makes him especially dangerous.

But if Reid disrupts the Eagles offense by trying to prove that he’s the second coming of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, the senior from High Point is going to find himself on the bench, Frazier said.

“The team wins 100 percent of the time,” Frazier said.

The team looked fresh and clean in the new uniforms they unveiled Thursday morning during media day on campus at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium. NCCU’s traditional maroon hue is set off with a deeper shade of gray, courtesy of assistant coach Roy Jones.

“I decided on these uniforms because the players wanted black uniforms,” Jones said. “As of now, we can’t purchase black, so I went with a darker gray.”

“It’s something a little more daring,” Goodwin said about the new look. “Everybody wanted to try to switch it up a little bit.”

Jones, who doubles as the team’s running backs coach and director of operations, for years has picked out the uniforms for Frazier’s squads.

“I would not consider myself a man of fashion, but I know how to make it look good, on and off the field,” Jones said. “I have way more fashion taste than Coach Frazier.”

Goodwin (6-6, 300) showed up in shape to training camp and knew he was looking good in his new school clothes.

“Toned up. Beefed up. Lost fat,” Goodwin said. “I think I wear it nice.”

Goodwin admired his muscles for a second.

“I work hard for these,” Goodwin said. “Might as well show them off a little bit.”

Goodwin & Co. will put some moves on display during a 10 a.m. team scrimmage today that wraps up what Frazier said has been the best training camp he’s ever been associated with in his two decades as a head coach.

Not a single Eagle missed a workout, and the team is pretty healthy except for a possible injury that could sideline defensive tackle Tommy Wallace, Frazier said.

NCCU is preparing for its Aug. 31 season opener against Duke in the Bull City Gridiron Classic at Wallace Wade Stadium.

Today’s scrimmage hopefully will bring forth a return man for kickoffs and punts who can explode the way Arthur Goforth did last season before completing his NCCU career.

Redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Adrian Wilkins (5-8, 150) could emerge as NCCU’s return man, and there’s redshirt-freshman receiver Dequadis Tucker (5-7, 165), “who was the fastest kid out of the state of Georgia,” Frazier said. “He’s finally getting on the field.”

There are at least six Eagles who can fly, running 4.4 40-yard dashes, Frazier said. NCCU’s offensive line is massive, the payoff from nine of those big boys redshirting a year ago, he said. Field-goal kicker Oleg Parent had a “lights-out” training camp, Frazier said.

Yet a good bit of any success NCCU has this season will have something to do with the continuity both in the coaching staff and the offensive and defensive schemes, Frazier said. The same-old same-old has its place, the coach explained.

“I know I’m going to stay the same,” Frazier said. “I’m too stupid to change.”

Of course, breaking the mold to upgrade uniforms is a different story, because guys play better football when they look the part, Frazier said.

Goforth, now an NCCU graduate assistant coach, only could imagine how smooth he would have looked returning punts for touchdowns in the new threads.

“That would have been a blessing to be in some new uniforms. I would have loved it,” Goforth said.