After being eliminated from bowl game contention at the hands of Auburn last Saturday, Nov. 3, fans of Liberty football likely cannot help but to look past the final two games and towards the 2019 season.
It is, obviously, extremely early to project 2019. The Flames’ 2018 season has yet to conclude, and college football will be played into January of 2019 before resuming the following August. Flames nation, however, has plenty to be excited about in 2019.
Williams Stadium, which welcomed significant upgrades in 2018, will continue to be built to suit the FBS-caliber football it will host for years to come. The Football Operations Center, located behind the North end zone, will be totally renovated this offseason. By the beginning of 2019; the newly improved structure will feature a 27,000 square foot expansion, patios that overlook the field, a new player’s lounge, a new locker room, an expanded weight room, and an expanded nutrition center.
Liberty will also retain a number of key players. Quarterback Buckshot Calvert and receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden, two of the team’s most well-known offensive players, will return to Lynchburg for their senior seasons. Defensive lineman Jessie Lemonier and linebacker Solomon Ajayi, who rank first and second on the team in sacks, will also return. This quartet, along with several other key returning players, will be crucial to a program that graduates 12 seniors in May 2019.
The 2019 schedule won’t be any easier for the Flames. Liberty, which is slated to host Syracuse in its Aug. 31 season opener, also will take on BYU, Rutgers, Virginia, and one of Turner Gill’s previous institutions: Buffalo.
The 2019 college football season, however, is over nine months away. A lot can change between now and August for the Flames; whose offseason will see transfers, new recruit signings, depth chart competitions, and potential changes in leadership. But at this point in time, Turner Gill’s squad is only focused on one thing.
Finishing 2018 strong.