This Saturday, the N.C. Central University Eagles travel to Wallace Wade Stadium to face the Duke Blue Devils in the Bull City Gridiron Classic for the sixth time.
Last year’s battle was a disappointing loss for the Eagles with a final score of 49-6. The Eagles only managed to get 112 total yards compared to Duke’s 535. Duke currently holds the advantage with a Gridiron Classic record of 5-0.
Despite being pegged as the underdog once again, head coach Jerry Mack is confident about his team going into their first game of the season. Preparation started early and he’s acknowledged that this isn’t the same team from last year’s defeat.
“We’ve brought in more quality players,” Mack, now in his fourth season with NCCU, explained. “We have a good mixture of (younger) and older guys.”
While Mack is optimistic about many of his returning players having breakout seasons, this year’s team has multiple newcomers filling important roles.
Transfer players like sophomore quarterback Micah Zanders (Hinds Community College), senior defensive back Alphonso Carter (University of Louisville), senior linebacker De’Niro Laster (University of Kentucky) and senior receiver Jordan Fieulleteau (UNC-Chapel Hill) have the chance to start this season while freshmen like tight end Zach Kellum, linebacker Patrick Connor, and running back Isaiah Totten will have the chance to learn and contribute early.
With so much youth and talent, the team once again looks to be a threat in the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference.