Family, friends and fans were able to get their first look at N.C. Central University’s 2018–19 football team last Saturday at the “Meet the Eagles” fan event and scrimmage in O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium.
The meet-and-greet, which was open to the public, allowed players to talk with fans one-on-one while they autographed posters of themselves and this season’s schedule.
Sophomore starting quarterback Chauncey Caldwell said it was a “blessing” for him to be on the other side of the table signing autographs.
“Both of my parents are Central graduates and I’ve been coming to games since I was able to walk, so I went to a few Meet the Eagles (scrimmages),” Caldwell said.
Saturday’s scrimmage signaled the beginning of this season’s push to reclaim the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship, but also marked the end of the Summer 2018 football camp.
Granville Eastman, whose first-ever NCCU scrimmage as interim head coach occurred last spring, said afterwards that he was “pleased and encouraged” by his players’ performances.
“I thought (the scrimmage) went well,” said Eastman. “The defense had a lot of high energy — they came out full blast and really shut down the offense.”
Said offense was shut down early in the game, going through a 4-and out in their first drive. Thankfully, they came back in the second half going down to score back-to-back touchdowns.
Eastman told reporters that Eagles offense has been prone to do that in the preseason, but the success of the scrimmage “really showed what they are capable of when they don’t get in their own way.”
Caldwell, alongside redshirt sophomore running back Isaiah Totten, freshman running back Jamal Currie-Elliott and redshirt sophomore wide receiver Daeshawn Stephens were listed by Eastman as players who are expected to command a lot of attention on the field in the 2018–19 season.
After the scrimmage, Eastman told his players that “going forward, we’ll have clean up a few things, but we’ll be ready when the time comes.”
The Eagles play their first game against Prairie View A&M University as part of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge at Georgia State Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 2. The game will air live at noon on ESPN2.