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Charlotte 49ers football takes on sense of urgency in spring
Drills open with questions after 1-11 campaign
 
Published Wednesday, March 21, 2018 7:29 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

The Charlotte 49ers cannot afford another 1-11 season.

They head into spring training after the worst season in program history with a new athletic director, several new assistant coaches, and another hunt for a consistent quarterback.

“I told our team, ‘we were in the foundation phase of building our program when we came here, and we have turned the corner on that,’” coach Brad Lambert said. “Now we’ve got to build this house. We’ve got to put the walls up. That’s the phase that I told our team that in 2018 we’re entering. To do that, we need to go to a bowl game, and win the bowl game. I have high expectations every day we walk in here. That’s the phase we’ve entered. We’re out of the startup phase and into the new phase.”

Players have put in additional work in order to avoid having another abysmal season.

“Waking up at 4 a.m. getting ready to work, we want to prove a lot of people wrong so that we can actually be top contenders in this league,” said junior running back Benny LeMay, a Butler High alumnus whose 907 rushing yards rank fourth all-time in school history. “Four o’clock in the morning, that’s either the weight room, or out here conditioning no matter the weather. No matter what’s going on. Just get out here and get it. No complaining.”

Charlotte has seven quarterbacks listed on the spring roster, including Brady Pope, who signed in December. Lambert indicated the 6-foot-3 South Iredell High alumnus could challenge for the starting role. He is a two-star recruit who passed for 10,624 yards and 112 touchdowns during his four-year high school career.

“The number one thing will be to see who our quarterback is,” Lambert said. “We may be a bit different at that position.”

Dual-threat junior quarterback Hasaan Klugh has started the last two seasons. He had 137 carries for 532 yards and nine touchdowns last season as well as completing 133-of-279 passing for 1529 yards and 10 touchdowns. However, his 13 interceptions last season may lead Lambert to look elsewhere in favor of more touchdowns and fewer picks. He does not anticipate determining who the quarterback will be until August.

“You only have 15 practices in the spring,” Lambert said. “We’re really in phase two right now with spring ball, and then you enter into phase three in the summer. The guys will continue to grow with our systems that we put in during the spring. Then we’ll get into August, and make a lot of hard decisions about who is going to run out there, and who is going to be the guy.”

 

Comments

Thank you for the 49er coverage. We are fans, supporters, and we are hopeful. Go 9ers!!
Posted on March 22, 2018
 

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