Just under a month away from their first game of the fall season, BGSU football completed their first fall practice on Monday.
It was a practice that was full of energy, as the players and coaches alike were excited to finally get back on the field with a goal in mind.
“It was definitely exciting, it was great to be back out there. Everybody was flying around and there was a lot of energy. I think the main thing would be to just stay consistent as we continue through this camp and moving on to the season because it is easy to come out the first day and be intense, but it is another thing to make it a repeating thing,” Senior tight end Quintin Morris said.
Morris has caught 105 passes for 1,281 yards and 13 touchdowns in his three-year career. He hopes to be a leader for a team that is looking to improve on last season’s 3-9 record.
“I try to do as much as I can to inspire my teammates and keep them focused and let them know what’s going on … really just trying to keep their heads straight and of course I can always be able to coach up football and points like that,” he said.
Redshirt junior transfer Matthew McDonald took the first team quarterback reps on offense and is the clear leader to take that job come November. Redshirt freshman LaBronz Davis, from Westerville, Ohio, received second-team snaps. Third-team snaps went to Riley Keller, a freshman from Whitmer High School in Toledo.
Head Coach Scot Loeffler commented on what his quarterback room looks like heading into fall camp this year.
“The No. 2 quarterback right now is LaBronz, Matt is the starter, LaBronz is the two and Riley Keller is the three … I can’t wait until next spring after we get through this year and we can really develop those two young players,” he said.
McDonald was slated to have the starting job over Grant Loy last season, but Loy took the job when the NCAA declared that McDonald was ineligible to play immediately after his transfer from Boston College.
He seems to be solidly locked into that starting role this season with a year under his belt to learn the new offense. It was a year that was disappointing at first, but grew into a positive over time.
“The year off that I had to sit out last year was huge for my growth, it was obviously disappointing news but I took it as a chance to get better and kind of hone in on my skill set and get into the offense better, get into the playbook and just know this thing front to back. I think I made some huge strides this past year and I think it helped me ultimately,” McDonald said.
Andrew Claire did not practice, so it was freshman Terion Stewart from Sandusky that took most of the first-team snaps at running back on the day. Taron Keith and Trevon Raymore also saw some time in the backfield as well.
Stewart amassed 6,175 rushing yards and 93 touchdowns in his three-year career en route to two All-Ohio selections for Sandusky High School. He comes in as a key piece to the future for Loeffler as he looks to build the Falcons’ program back up.
Bryson Denley, who was a do-it-all type of player for the Falcons last season, seems to be poised to play the same role this year as the last as he was lined up in the backfield and at wideout during practice.
Denley had a team high 544 rushing yards, while also notching the second-most catches on the team last season as well.
There were some new faces at wide receiver today too as at least in the first day of fall camp, Javonte Kinsey seems poised to play a role in the offense as a freshman. Kinsey is 6-5, 206 pounds and comes from Jacksonville, Florida. Julian Ortega Jones saw some time at receiver as well, he heads into his redshirt sophomore season looking to make a big impact.
Karl Brooks on the defensive line and Caleb Biggers in the secondary, who look to be two impact players for the Falcons heading into the season, saw plenty of time in first-team roles as well. They both look ready to play for the upcoming season.
Loeffler’s second season didn’t waste any effort in being unpredictable, but the start of fall camp marks a sigh of relief for this rebuilding program.
“This time is invaluable, we’re going to look back when we are ready to really win here and we are going to go this time, this pandemic here really pushed our program forward,” Loeffler said.