Eagles happy with scrimmage results
Training camp is done at N.C. Central, and it’s time for the Eagles to start focusing on Duke.
“I think we’re ready to roll into the season,” NCCU coach Henry Frazier III said after Friday’s scrimmage at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium wrapped up training camp.
Some missed field goals bothered Frazier, a little concerned that the balls went awry even though there were no defenders applying pressure.
But NCCU’s defense came up with a good goal-line stand, and linebacker Ty Brown was fierce coming off the edge, pressing the pocket and picking up a couple of sacks.
Redshirt freshman defensive back Tim Thaniel was impressive on the corner, Frazier said.
The Eagles defense was without key defensive linemen Tommy Wallace and Aaron Wallace, both redshirt seniors.
“They’re a little banged up,” Frazier said. “They’re two of the strongest guys on the team and they play down inside, so we need those guys to get healthy, and fast.”
Idreis Augustus and Andre Clarke, NCCU’s bigger running backs, didn’t participate in the scrimmage for precautionary reasons related to injuries, giving more carries to smaller backs such as redshirt freshman Shaheed Swinson (5-8, 167).
If Friday’s scrimmage had been a real game, Augustus (5-7, 190) would have played, but Clarke (5-10, 232) still is trying to get in the groove, Frazier said.
Backup quarterback Malcolm Bell held his own, Frazier said.
Starting quarterback Jordan Reid, a redshirt senior, said he’s been pouring his mastery of NCCU’s playbook into both Bell and redshirt junior quarterback Davonta’ Farrell, who faced their first full-on defensive pressure of the preseason during the scrimmage.
“We showed various packages,” Reid said. “We moved the ball pretty efficiently in all three sessions that we had with all three quarterbacks.”
After the scrimmage, Frazier didn’t appear to have a problem putting a smiley face on the work.
“I’m really pleased with these guys,” Frazier said. “They’ve done everything that we’ve asked them to do as football coaches. We have a captive audience, now it’s on us to get them ready, to get them in the right frame of mind to win football games.”
NCCU visits Wallace Wade Stadium on Aug. 31 to deal with Duke in the Bull City Gridiron Classic. The Eagles will approach the coming days as if they were part of a bye week, Frazier said.
“We’ve still got some things to work on,” NCCU left tackle Charles Goodwin said. “We’ve still got a young group, with me being the only senior. If we get a lot of the little things down, we’re going to be a good bunch.”