After the first two practices of training camp being in helmets only, the Flames put on the shoulder pads for Wednesday’s practice. Following the team’s third practice of training camp, offensive line coach Sam Gregg and cornerbacks coach Rickey Hunley met with the media on a video conference call and today’s notes center around those two position groups.
- A sleeper to keep an eye on in the offensive line unit is Ryan Eshleman. The redshirt-sophomore was moved to tackle after spending last season at tight end. He’s pushing for time in the rotation as part of the second unit. “I’m telling you, if we played a game right now, he would probably be one of those guys to help us,” Coach Gregg said of Eshleman.
- Gregg was asked how different it would be for his unit to block for a different quarterback than Buckshot Calvert. “I think it’s going to be a lot easier. Buckshot could do a lot of things. He was an awesome player, but he wasn’t really dynamic. He won games with his arm and with his brain. Malik is just a smart kid, he’s an awesome kid. Both these kids we’ve got in here right now are a lot more versatile in the pocket than what we dealt with last year. Malik does make it easier. He will make 2 or 3 guys miss and then keep running.”
- Gregg praised Cooper McCaw, saying he has put on about 25 pounds and is having a very good camp. He’s currently slotted as starter at right tackle, fighting with Ole Miss grad transfer Bryce Mathews.
- Another great quote from Gregg – “There’s a couple kids we didn’t play last year, and that was just stupid by me. We should have played Coop (McCaw), we should have played Brendan (Schlittler) more. They were good football players last year. That was probably just young coaching and being stupid.”
- Jimmy Faulks, Emanuel Dabney, and Chris Megginson are currently the top three corners, according to Coach Hunley. He spoke very highly of Dabney who fought his way through a hamstring injury last season that limited his impact. Megginson has also settled in at corner after going back and forth between there and safety as a true freshman last year.
- True freshmen Quinton Reese and Deon Biggins continue to get praise from the coaching staff. Hunley says he expects both of them to play this season. They could play 4 games and be held back to preserve a redshirt or play the full season. “We feel like we hit homeruns with both,” Hunley said of the pair.
- Liberty has added a late addition transfer in walk-on Ian Ector from Wingate. The 6’2″, 165 pound corner is originally from Stafford, Virginia. He played in 11 games last season as a redshirt-freshman before coming to Liberty. He is working through compliance and hoping to be eligible this season.
*photo courtesy Liberty Athletics