Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze joined the media for a video press conference call on Monday shortly after the Flames finished the day’s walk thru. The Flames are nearing the end of camp and will transition towards a normal game week as the Sept. 19 opener at Western Kentucky draws near.
Game install and prep work will begin Wednesday this week for the Hilltoppers. WKU is scheduled to open their 2020 season this coming Saturday at 8 p.m. against Louisville on the ACC Network.
Here are some notes from today’s press conference with Coach Freeze:
- The QB battle between Malik Willis and Chris Ferguson continues. Freeze says he’s hopeful there will be a decision by the end of this week. Both quarterbacks have similar resumes during camp, with each having good days and bad days. The next media availability is not until next Monday, so we may not hear an official word until then. “It’s been a great competition,” Freeze said. “I think both have strengths and both still need to be consistent in some areas. Hopefully, we will see what our instincts tell us right now. We hope to get confirmation of that this week and then make that decision.”
- Another important position battle this camp has been at kicker where Jason Stricker and Alex Barbir have been battling. Freeze failed to mention who may be leading that battle, but he did say, “we definitely need more consistency in that or we will be going for it on 4th down a lot.”
- Liberty has had two players opt out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic as senior defensive tackle Elisha Mitchell and redshirt-senior safety Isaac Steele have both elected not to play this season. Mitchell would have provided depth on the interior of the defensive line while Steele was competing for playing time at a safety spot.
- Injuries, injuries, injuries. It sounds like the injury bug has bitten the Flames recently. Freeze rattled off a long list of players that are battling injuries including wide receivers DJ Stubbs (ankle), Noah Frith (foot), CJ Daniels (sprained MCL), tight end Trevor Hobbs (torn PCL), running back Frank Boyd (foot), corners Emanuel Dabney, Hunter Goetz, Isaiah Avery, and safeties Tim Kidd-Glass and Javon Scruggs. It sounds like Stubbs, Frith, and Daniels all have a chance to be back in the lineup for the opener. Hobbs will be out for “a while”, according to Freeze, and it also sounds like Boyd might be on the doubtful side of being ready for the season opener. We should have a clearer picture on the availability of the others for Western Kentucky by next week.
- Grad transfers Cedric Stone and Matt Terrell have officially joined the roster as redshirt-seniors. Stone comes in from Georgia State where he was a starter. He will add depth in the secondary at safety. Terrell comes to Liberty from James Madison. He’s been added to the linebacker room where he’s currently serving as a backup and will also play on multiple special teams units.
- Quinton Reese was singled out as a true freshman who will play this season at corner. Also, JUCO transfer Marcus Haskins is now playing at both safety and corner. He played corner at both of his previous collegiate stops and began his time in camp at Liberty at safety.
*photo courtesy Liberty Athletics