By Gage Nutter
EGLINTINE AND SHADE BACK IN ACTION
Senior quarterback Jake Eglintine and sophomore quarterback Chad Shade returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday’s practice due to injury. Pride head coach Mike Cerasuolo said after practice Wednesday that Shade’s absence from practice that day was just precautionary.
In passing drills Eglintine and Shade both looked sharp. Aside from one overthrown ball from Eglintine down the middle of the field, both quarterbacks were sharp all practice on passes toward the sideline and down the field.
Junior wide receiver Jakai Whittingham made a dazzling toe-tapping catch in the back corner of the endzone during team offense phase on Thursday. Whittingham is 6’2 185 pounds, possesses an incredible wingspan and has quick hands. After totaling only two receptions and one touchdown last season, Whittingham has the potential to break out this year.
I wouldn’t assume that Springfield will air it out a lot this season. But if they do, Whittingham is the man they will want catching the ball.
GIORGIO PICKING UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF
Junior defensive end Nick Giorgio is as quick off the ball in practice as he is during the game. Giorgio showcased this quickness during the team defensive period on Thursday. When the scout offense ran a quarterback sneak, Giorgio was the first defender in the backfield and tried relentlessly to strip the ball from the quarterback. When the quarterback dropped back to pass, he did a good job of beating the tackle and getting to the quarterback.
Giorgio was First Team All-Liberty League last season and finished the regular season with 14.5 tackles for a loss and averaged six tackles a game. Approaching his second year with extended playing time, Giorgio could take the NEWMAC conference by storm this season.
Junior Christian Humulock is expected to start the season as the Pride’s starting kicker. But with strong performances by junior Blake Heller and freshman Kevin Rodriguez the last two days of practice, the competition could be heating up. Heller is currently the Prides kickoff man heading into Saturdays game.