JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – This is the fifth in an eight-part series that will break down what Carson-Newman football brings to the table for the 2014 season position by position. Today's preview features the Eagles' wide receivers and coach David Needs.
Carson-Newman loses its leading receiver in Luther Walker and his 29 catches and 488 yards; however, the rest of C-N's recently resurgent passing game returns intact.
"Ryan Roach and I have been talking about it, we don't have a lot of numbers, but they are a tenacious group," Needs said. "They've been very receptive to doing the things we ask them to do to make them better players."
Leading the charge is Anthony Eubanks. He became the first Carson-Newman wide receiver under Ken Sparks since Darren Hughes in 1990 to catch eight passes in a game.
"Anthony's a fifth year senior, but he's out there everyday trying to get more reps," Needs said. "I like it when you get a senior who wants to drive in the victory drill, but you've got to tap him on the shoulder to let a younger kid get a rep. That drive is contagious."
Eubanks did so against both North Greenville and Shorter last season. He finished the year with 23 catches for 390 yards and two scores. Both his touchdowns came in the opener against Wayne State last year.
Complementing Eubanks are TraShaun Ward and Aaron Seward. Ward snagged 24 passes for 344 yards a year ago and Seward caught 11 balls for 184 yards. Also in the mix is Steven Isom as he tries to return from injury.
"TraShaun Ward is a good receiver, but he also has the want to to block, which is something we need to get better at," Needs said. "Sometimes he's like a gnat attacking a lion, but he's always going to be in the mix trying to make things happen."
"Blihovde has been bitten with the injury bug since he's been here," Needs said. "He's made significant strides here in the offseason."
The Eagles have also experimented with moving quarterback Lonnie Williams in the slot.
Carson-Newman football's position previews resume Sunday with C-N's offensive line and Mike Turner.