With their first class of recruits, Reinhardt used the fall to lay the foundation of its program, which will begin its first competitive season in 2013.
Coach Danny Cronic was pleased with what he saw.
“I’ve seen a tremendous amount of improvement,” Cronic said of his team, which consists of just over 100 players. “I’ve been extremely impressed with our players. They’ve got a long way to go, but I think they’ll get there.”
Cronic and his staff found themselves in the unique position of having a roster that consists almost entirely of redshirt freshmen.
“It’s the first time that anyone on our coaching staff has helped to start up a program,” he said.
Cronic felt that having a roster in which everyone was on equal footing when the year began has helped the players develop better than if they were at a college with an established football program.
“It’s much better to be redshirted here than somewhere else because of the amount of coaching that they have received,” Cronic said. “Every player gets a lot of attention from us, a lot of opportunities.”
Those opportunities came in the form of scrimmages, which Reinhardt had three times a week for the last six weeks.
Though the scrimmages were simply a part of practice, Cronic was quick to stress their importance. With no official games being played, it’s through the scrimmage that the Eagles’ future starting lineup will be determined.
That was evident Wednesday, in which the offense celebrated with every first down, and the defense with every stop.
“We are all shooting for a spot, and the scrimmage shows the coaches how we can play,” said Javier Dyer, a defensive end from Snellville.
With no other team to play against, Dyer admitted that a strong rivalry had developed between Reinhardt’s offensive and defensive units.
“If (the offense has) a better practice than us, a lot of times they’ll start to talk trash,” Dyer said. “But we like to celebrate on the defensive side, too, and when we do, it’s pretty obvious.”
“It’s very competitive out there,” said Johnathon Chamblee, a quarterback from Savannah. “Those are the only guys that we actually get to hit. We’re all friends, but once we step on the field, we treat it just like a regular game.”
Though Cronic was pleased to see his team take the practices seriously, he feels there’s no substitute for the real thing.
“You can practice and practice and practice, but you can’t practice for actual game experience,” Cronic said.