NCCU Eagles' eye squarely on Aug. 31 Bull City Classic, Duke
N.C. Central coach Henry Frazier III is big on continuity, and he has said one of the reasons the Eagles have turned a corner is because his coaching staff has largely remained intact since he arrived for the 2011 season.
This will be Frazier’s third campaign at NCCU, which is coming off of its first winning season since 2007, finishing 6-5 in 2012, 5-3 in the MEAC.
The Eagles ended the season with a share of third place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
At the conclusion of sanctioned spring football practice, Frazier said he’s looking forward to seeing the eventual results of off-season, non-supervised training by his players.
“They won’t be here with me on the field, but they’ll still be doing football-related activities in terms of working out,” Frazier said. “Attacking the workouts. You’re just not showing up to lift or showing up to run. You want to attack the workouts.”
There’s summer school for the Eagles, all the while getting in workouts on their own before reporting to training camp as a team on July 31, Frazier said.
“We’re going to come back, report and get ready for Duke,” Frazier said.
NCCU opens the 2013 season on Aug. 31 against Duke in the Bull City Gridiron Classic at Wallace Wade Stadium.
One Eagle has picked up where he left off in the fall.
NCCU’s Tazmon Foster made no shortage of big plays at linebacker last season, and he was all over the field during the spring game at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium.
At the time, Frazier said he needed to study the video from that intra-squad scrimmage before making a deeper assessment of what he thought was a pretty good showing by his players. But he’d seen all he needed to grade Foster.
“He might have had 40 tackles,” Frazier said.
It was actually seven tackles — six of them for losses — but no one was arguing.
“He’s so disciplined,” Frazier said of Foster.
Frazier was referring to a spring game play in which a defensive teammate was returning an interception and Foster was looking for someone to block. He passed up an opportunity to knock the daylights out of a wide receiver in his way.
“But what he did was grab him and say, ‘I’m not going to hit you! I’m not going to hit you!’ And I heard him tell him that,” Frazier said of Foster. “That’s just discipline. I always say, you’ve got to practice like a champion. Yeah, he could have leveled him. It was a clean shot. It is a dressed-up practice, and that just shows me the discipline that he has and his understanding of the game. He’s special. Tazmon, he’s a special football player.”
Foster picked off a pass, too, and returned it 20 yards to set up a touchdown.
NOTES — Brandon McLaren’s 47-yard field goal in the spring game caught Frazier’s attention. On the other side, holdover starter Oleg Parent missed an extra point in the fourth quarter that would have brought his team to within a field goal of the lead.
“Did you see him make that 47-yarder?” Frazier said of McLaren. “All I say is look at the stats. They don’t lie.”
When NCCU reconnects in the summer, a couple of key personnel battles could be at quarterback, where Jordan Reid will have to separate himself from three other starting contenders, and kicker, where Parent has McLaren to deal with.
“If you have competition at every position, that makes your team better,” Frazier said. “So, yeah, (Parent) should be concerned.”