7 practices completed for the Flames in preparation for the 2017 season. The team also had its first scrimmage of training camp on Saturday. We caught up with Coach Gill and several members of the team, here are some of the main takeaways:
Offense shines in scrimmage
“I’d have to say the offense dominated (the scrimmage on Saturday),” Gill stated. The offense scored 6 touchdowns and converted 2 of 3 field goals. Gill says the only field goal miss was from 51 yards and into the wind.
Kentory Matthews was again the first name out of Gill’s mouth when highlighting players from the offense performing well. “He had 2 touchdowns, touchdown runs. He had a long run of about 65 yards.” While Matthews may not make his way to the top of the depth chart at running back, he’s also getting an opportunity at slot receiver.
True freshman wide receiver D.J. Stubbs was another standout for the offense, scoring two touchdowns. “His first week he definitely made an impression,” Gill said of the 3-star rated recruit. “It’s just his first week out here, and he’s done some good things. He’s been able to keep up with our offense. His understanding of our offense has given him a little bit more of an opportunity to make some plays, that’s pleasing, but it’s still early. We haven’t made all those decisions yet, who’s going to redshirt, who’s not, and all that, but he’s definitely put himself in a good position to be, hopefully, in the top 6 or 7 receivers.”
On defense, Gill highlighted Gregg Storey and Corbin Jackson for their play in the scrimmage. “Storey did really well. We call them 6 factors of production plays where he had penetration, hurries, tackles for loss. He definitely stood out. Corbin Jackson is probably another guy that stood out on defense and made some good production plays on that side.”
Gill likes where the team is at with just over 3 weeks until kickoff in Waco. “We have a long ways to go, but I saw some things that were pleasing, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. To come out and be pretty effective, as far as moving the football on a consistent basis.”
Backup QB battle
We all know Buckshot Calvert is Liberty’s starting quarterback entering the season, but there has been some speculation on who will be his backup after Stephon Masha decided to move on. JUCO transfer Mason Cunningham enrolled in January prior to spring ball, and he has been able to separate himself from the pack at #2 on the QB depth chart. Cunningham does have a redshirt year available, and Gill says the final decision on using the redshirt or not hasn’t been made yet. He is leaning towards not redshirting Cunningham since he will likely be Buckshot’s backup.
As we mentioned last week, offensive lineman Ernst Anderson suffered an injury during camp. It doesn’t sound like it is anything serious, but he hasn’t practiced for the past 4-5 days. Gill says he will have another evaluation, and he hopes that Anderson is ready to go in another week or two.
Reserve quarterback Rud Yearick is dealing with some type of injury. Gill says because of it he hasn’t had a whole lot of reps during camp.
Gill states there aren’t any major injuries to report at this point in camp.