Eagles to lace 'em up in public scrimmage Friday morning
It likely will be mostly smiles this morning at media day at N.C. Central’s O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium.
The tone is expected to be more serious Friday morning when the Eagles get after each other during a 10 a.m. scrimmage.
The general public is invited to the scrimmage at no cost, but today’s session at the stadium is just for media members.
The truth of the matter about the scrimmage is that NCCU coach Henry Frazier III does not particularly care to have his players beating on each other with a whole lot of full-on hitting.
“I believe — I’m probably crazy — the football gods are only going to allow you to go to the ground so many times before your career is over with and I’m not about to waste (the reps) in practice. I’ll save them for the games,” Frazier said.
Eagles fans can knock on wood that there have been no major injuries during NCCU’s training camp, just some headaches and nothing that a little first-aid tape couldn’t hold together, Frazier said.
Some hitting in practice is necessary, Frazier conceded, and Friday’s scrimmage will be an opportunity for the Eagles to work on some situational football under referees’ whistles. The Eagles during the scrimmage can expect to be in the sort of third-and-long scenarios and red-zone situations that they could face as soon as the Aug. 31 season opener against Duke in the Bull City Gridiron Classic at Wallace Wade Stadium.
Frazier said his players should not feel especially pressured to prove anything during the scrimmage, which will bring an end to the team’s two-week training camp. Coaches will huddle some time afterward and juggle the team’s depth chart, which Frazier has said goes two to three deep at every position.
Frazier hasn’t done much name calling in terms of singling out players that he expects to do this or that. He has mentioned senior quarterback Jordan Reid and that the starting job is his to lose. Backup quarterbacks Malcolm Bell and Davonta’ Farrell are expected to push Reid in practice.
One name floated this week by an Eagles fan during NCCU’s “Eagle Talk” sports show at Café Renaissance belongs to Shaheed Swinson, described as having moves that rival former NCCU playmaker Geovonie Irvine, last seen zigzagging all over the field a year ago during his final lap around the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Swinson (5-8, 167) is a redshirt freshman running back from Kinston.
Frazier, entering his third season at NCCU, said the Eagles will stick with a multiple set on offense and on defense rely on a 3-4 look to stop people.