NCCU football digs in for new year
2012 looks to be a promising season for revamped team
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 11:08
N.C. Central University Head Football Coach Henry Frazier III is always going to be straight forward when it comes to his team.
“We want to get better from last year, and continue to build this program," Frazier said.
The Eagles first season in the MEAC and first under Frazier was rough, as they finished tied for last in the conference with a measly 2-9 (1-7) record.
“We are still in a building process, but with the pieces we have returning from last season along with some new additions, we have the right pieces to make this program a winning one,” Frazier said.
The Eagles will return 14 starters including Preseason All-MEAC selection seniors wide receiver Geovonie Irvine and defensive lineman Xavier Proctor.
“It’s a luxury to have players of their caliber,” Frazier said.”Just having that type of talent on your team should help motivate the other players.”
Irvine will be a huge part of the Eagles offensive attack. He is fourth on the school’s al- time receiving list. Last season Irvine hauled in 47 catches for 580 yards and had five trips to the end zone.
“I’m heading into this season with my head held high but I know I have to stay on top of my game", Irvine said. "I’m also more of a vocal leader this season, because I’m a senior now. When the quarterbacks make a bad pass I go and talk to them to help motivate them to get better.”
The starting quarterback job was awarded to 6’3, 225 pound junior transfer Matt Goggans. He was able to beat out red-shirt junior Jordan Reid. Goggans transferred from Fullerton College last season and will replace former quarterback Michael Johnson who went on to graduate finishing third on NCCU’s all-time career passing yards list with 5,740 yards.
The Eagles rushing attack will be led by the two headed monster, Idreis Augustus and Andre Clarke, both returning for their junior seasons. While Augustus only played in six games for the Eagles, he along with Clarke racked up over 400 yards on the ground.
The defense will be led by Proctor and a well polished defensive line. Proctor finished his 2011 season with 37 solo tackles, 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble. Seniors Stephen Young, Chase Tripp, and John Drew are all expected to improve from stellar junior seasons.
The Eagles will open the 2012 season against the Broncos of Fayetteville State University this Saturday at 6 p.m. at O’Kelly Riddick Stadium.
“I’m glad we have a lot of returning players from last season but overall we will still be a young team,” Frazier said. “We will have more balance than last season on both sides of the ball."