JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The Carson-Newman Eagles went full contact for about 25 minutes as part of Monday morning's practice on the Gary Wyatt Practice Field.
The Eagles worked out for just under two hours in full gear for the first time since opening fall camp last Wednesday. The Eagles went full contact for 10 minutes in their "Victory Drill," which Eagle head coach Ken Sparks stopped twice to applaud his team's effort.
Already, the intangibles which have long been the focus of Sparks' tenure, are starting to make a positive impression on Division II's all-time winningest head coach.
"I'm encouraged by some things I'm seeing already," Sparks said. "Our leadership has been pretty good so far, and it has the younger guys engaged. As far as on the field, we've got some really good competitions going on in a number places, which tells me we could have some depths at those spots."
The battle for who will take snaps in the Eagles' split-back veer option offense is in full swing, and will continue to take shape heading into Wednesday scrimmage, the first of the fall.
Sophomores Johnny Foster (Roebuck, S.C.) and Jason Brown (Plant City, Fla.), along with Brandon Haywood (Rockmart, Ga.) and red-shirt freshmen Phillip Juhlin (Maryville, Tenn.) are all competing for the job. Only Foster took snaps under center last season.
The Eagles will hold their first scrimmage on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in Burke-Tarr Stadium as part of Media Day. The scrimmage is open to the public.
C-N opens the regular season Sept. 1 with a 350-mile trip to Glenville, W.Va. to face Glenville State College of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Pioneers were 5-6 last season.
AFCA Poll: The Carson-Newman Eagles were list in receiving votes in the preseason American Football Coaches' Association Division II Poll, released on Wednesday. The Eagles 80 points in the poll, two spots removed from the Top 25. This is the first time since the AFCA Poll's inception before the 2000 season in which Carson-Newman has not been ranked in the preseason poll. Only one of C-N's 2011 regular season opponents is in the AFCA Preseason Poll (No. 14 Wingate).