Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze hopped on a video press conference call with the media on Friday shortly after the first day of training camp concluded. His discussion centered around the uncertainty of the 2020 season.
Heading into the second season of his tenure at Liberty, Freeze, like all of college football, is preparing for a season and training camp that is unlike any other in history.
With Liberty’s schedule more firm than it has been in recent weeks, and safety and procedures in place after a 2020 coronavirus summer, the attention now turns more to football. Below are notes and takeaways from the football side of things from Freeze’s press conference and the first day of Liberty’s preseason training camp.
- A lot of discussion centered around the quarterback position as the Flames look to replace 4-year starter Buckshot Calvert. Freeze said all three quarterbacks (Malik Willis, Chris Ferguson, Johnathan Bennett) looked really good in practice on Friday. The Flames will rotate Willis and Ferguson in getting reps with the first team through the first 7 practices. Malik got the 1st team reps on Friday, Ferguson will get them in the team’s next practice. Bennett, back 100% from his injury last year, got reps with the 3rd team on Friday, but Freeze said if he continues to play like he did Friday he will have to get reps with the 1st and 2nd strings, as well.
- Liberty welcomes in a large group of newcomers, both Junior College transfers and freshmen, and Freeze liked the way several of them looked. He highlighted defensive backs Quinton Reese and Marcus Haskins as the two who “really shined” on day one. In addition to Reese, fellow corner Deon Biggins stood out to Freeze, as well. Others that he put the spotlight on included the wide receiver group of Jaivian Lofton, CJ Daniels, and Ahmad Jackson.
- Freeze said, entering camp, he feels most comfortable with the running back room out of all the positions on the roster. The Flames return veterans Joshua Mack and Peytton Pickett who will lead that group. Troy Henderson, Shedro Louis, and Frank Boyd provide some additional depth. Freeze says he feels confident in all 5 of those running backs.
- Liberty does have one scholarship left open for the 2020 class that has arrived on campus. Freeze says he and his staff are keeping their eyes on the transfer portal in case someone shows up with schools choosing to forego the 2020 season.
- Redshirt-freshman Brayden Monday was originally recruited out of high school as a tight end, but when he joined the program last year, he was moved to defensive end. Monday has now been moved to tight end for the 2020 season.
*photo courtesy Liberty Athletics