RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University football team held its first preseason practice of the 2019 season on Saturday at 9:45 a.m.
The Colonels, in helmets and shorts for the first practice, were on the field for two and a half hours.
“There was a lot of enthusiasm and excitement today, which is to be expected on the first day,” Head Coach Mark Elder said. “We have more depth than we have ever had on both sides of the ball. We were able to two-spot a lot of things, and that led to the practice being a little bit different and a little bit of a learning curve for some guys. It was a good positive first day, but we were just in helmets so there’s not a ton to access as far as performance.”
The 2019 season begins for the Colonels on August 29 when Valparaiso visits Roy Kidd Stadium. Fans can purchase 2019 season tickets NOW by visiting EKUSports.com or calling 844-3-GoBigE. For information or questions about our special theme days and unique game day experiences for groups of 15 or more, call 844-3-GoBigE.
EKU is ranked 24th in the Preseason HERO Sports top 25 and 25th in the Lindy’s Sports Preseason Top 25. The Colonels were picked to finish third in the Ohio Valley Conference. Eastern Kentucky ended the 2018 season with four straight wins and were in the conversation for a playoff spot. The Colonels finished 7-4 overall and third in the OVC with a 5-2 mark.
“With all the preseason picks, we’re still looking up at people,” Elder said. “So there’s no getting caught up in that. We are certainly a hungry football team and we have a really high level of expectations for what this team is capable of. To be honest, if we finish where people are projecting us to finish I don’t think there will be a single guy in this program who will be excited about that.”
Eastern will have 47 of the 61 players listed on the season-ending depth chart will be back in 2019, including 18 starters.
“At this point we are quite deep as a program. There is a lot of competition at every spot,” said Elder. “We’re not at a point anymore where we need two true freshmen at a position to walk in the door and play a significant role. That’s where we were two years ago. I think we have some freshmen that are capable of doing that, but we’re not in a situation where we have to have them immediately.”
The Eastern Kentucky University football program features the “Best Tradition In FCS Football”, having won two national championships, 21 conference titles and made 21 playoff appearances. No other FCS team has won at least two FCS national titles and 20 or more conference championships. EKU has had 66 All-America selections and 33 NFL draft picks.