Ernst Andersen career’s over

After suffering through knee injuries off and on during his 3 years at Liberty, offensive lineman Ernst Andersen’s career is over, Coach Gill announced Friday. “Unfortunately, his career is over. Doctors have spoken to him, I’ve spoken to him, his parents. He’s decided (along with his doctors and his family) that it’s time for him to no longer play football. It’s a sad deal. I’ve been through that experience because of concussions, to have a doctor come tell you a recommendation to say for you to no longer play football. It’s tough on any young man. He will still be involved. We’ll have him as a student-coach, undergraduate coach to help us out on the team. The other good thing about it for him, he’s going to graduate in May, so, he’s a 3 year guy. We’re part of his family, and it’s been a tough 1 or 2 days to hear those type of things.”

Andersen is a 6’7″, 300 pound native of Lillesand, Norway. Andersen entered camp fighting with Sam Isaacson for the starting right tackle position, but due to recurring knee injuries, he will never play a game for the Flames. He’s on pace to graduate with a degree in international business.

Stubbs and Sanders to play as true freshmen

The only two freshmen Coach Gill said were definitely playing this year are wide receiver DJ Stubbs and Jayod Sanders. Stubbs will be in the rotation at receiver and will also get an opportunity at returner. Sanders is a defensive lineman.

“Jayod Sanders,” Gill said “is a guy that will play, and there’s a few others. I can say those 2 (Sanders and Stubbs) for sure, and we’ll make that announcement (about the rest of the redshirt decisions) at the appropriate time.”

Flames’ still looking at returners

Under Gill, the punt returners and kick returners are always the last positions he finalizes. Right now, he says they’re working with 3 or 4 candidates at each spot.

“I think that’s still up in the air. I think punt return wise, I would say the 2-3 candidates would be (B.J.) Farrow, Damian King, and DJ Stubbs. It will probably be out of those 3 guys. Kickoff return, similar to those guys, Stubbs, (Malik) Matthews, Frankie Hickson will be in the mix there. So, we’ve got about 3 or 4 guys. We haven’t solidified that yet, but we’ll work on that and hopefully have it solidified here in the next week and a half.”

Practicing Outside

After spending the first half of training camp primarily in the new indoor football practice facility, Coach Gill and the team has moved practice to Williams Stadium over the past week.

“My plan was for us the last 3 weeks (of training camp) to be primarily outside to get acclimated to true weather, the surroundings, and an open area field. Just being in the elements and getting our guys ready to play in this type of element.”

Position Previews

Our position previews continue as we have now looked at the special teams, tight ends and fullbacks, running backs, quarterbacks, and offensive line. We now move our attention to the defensive side of the ball, beginning with the defensive backs over the next few days. Linebackers and defensive line will completed by the end of training camp.