RICHMOND, Ky. (WYMT) - Following a 44-0 blowout win over then No. 23 Tennessee State last November 2 the Eastern Kentucky Colonels were 6-3, but then proceeded to lose their final three games of the season to finish an even 6-6, allowing nearly 40 points per game in those three losses.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Jeffrey Canady is hoping he can step in help the defense improve on last season's disappointing performance. "The biggest thing I focused on was reading the interior line, so the big thing for me was going straight to reading guards and then making all the defensive calls instead of making just secondary calls," says Canady, who led the defense in tackles during the team's annual Maroon-White Spring Game. And the coaches expect canady to grow up and learn quickly. "They really just told me, 'Grow up quick because you're going to have to get some reps and take over,' because like they said, we lost starters and backups so we're really, not short-handed I wouldn't say, but we are really young and a little inexperienced," he adds.
Offensively, the Colonels should pick up right where they left off. Dual-threat quarterback Jared McClain...back. Top two receivers Devin Borders and Jeff Glover...back. And leading rusher J.J. Jude...he's also back. "I got in the weight room all, pretty much all off-season," says Jude, Kentucky's all-time leading rusher in high school football. "That's all I did all summer, just stayed in the weight room and lift. That's been the key to my success. I might not be the most athletic guy but I'm always going to get in there and work hard. That's probably been the, that's been my crutch my whole entire career is just hitting the weights as hard as I can."
Caleb Watkins also returns to the EKU backfield, along with University of Tennessee transfer Channing Fugate. "Bring some physicality to the offense," says Fugate about what he can bring to the Colonel program. "I played fullback for a couple years in my time at UT. .I may be a little bit tough, so hopefully just some physicality."
The Colonels kick off their season on Thursday, August 28th on the road at Robert Morris.