Coach Brad Rzyczycki said the Gannon University football team has done a great job this offseason enduring the grind of training camp.
Rzyczycki said sophomore quarterback Liam Nadler spent time this offseason working with the offensive coordinator Josh Hoeg and learning from last year. Rzyczycki also noticed Nadler’s hard work in the weight room.
“Liam put on 25 pounds of muscle this offseason which not only protects him physically,” Rzyczycki said, “it has made his arm stronger.”
Nadler is looking to improve on his 56 percent completion percentage while throwing 21 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.
Rzyczycki said experience makes the quarterback position better, and now that Nadler has played 11 games as the starter accompanied by the work this offseason, the coaching staff expects him to excel.
Junior wide receiver Abraham Ocasio, was Nadler’s favorite target last season when they hooked up for 64 completions for 911 yards. The two players built chemistry last season when Ocasio caught 10 touchdown passes from Nadler, double that of any other Gannon wide receiver.
Senior defensive backTashawn Sneed led the defense with five interceptions last season and looks to lead the team in takeaways this season.
Senior running back Jansen Jones will try to improve on his nearly four yards per carry average from last season. With help from the speedy offensive weapon Justin Caliste the Gannon offense could be putting up more points this season.
Keep your eyes out for two freshmen who will be starting for the first game: cornerback Kailan Chavis and defensive tackle Qwaheem Marshall to make an impact on the game.
The Knights kick off their season at 7 p.m. Thursday against Lake Erie College in Painsville, Ohio. Rzyczycki said that the first games of the season are filled with uncertainty.
“We do not know the new guys Lake Erie College has brought in or what new schemes they may be throwing at us,” Rzyczycki said.
Rzyczycki said that the team was not going to get caught up in specific matchups in the first games because he thought it would take away from what the team is trying to accomplish as a whole on the field.