Special to WBON-TV
Eastern’s football team returns six receivers who caught passes last season, including three of the top four pass catchers overall. The group will be coached by newcomer Donte Ellington.
Junior BK Smith led the team with 23 receptions as a sophomore last year. He totaled 244 yards. Redshirt sophomore Jackson Beerman is coming off a season in which he led the Colonels with 324 receiving yards on 21 catches. Junior Jaelin Carter was fourth on the team with 20 receptions for 232 yards. He led all wide receivers with two touchdown catches.
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.
Others returning receivers include redshirt junior Alex Cabrera (12 receptions, 110 yards, 1 touchdown) and senior Jerome Gross (6 receptions, 61 yards).
“Anytime you have some older guys who are comfortable in what they’re doing and fluid in their route running, it definitely helps,” Ellington said. “Now they’re just trying to adjust to the different depths of routes and the choices they have in a particular route. This group is as tight as can be and that’s perfect. I came in to try and create a brotherhood in the room but it was actually already there. They really push each other and it’s a group that battles on a daily basis in the weight room and on the field.”
The group will be aided by the arrival of Keyion Dixon, a transfer from Connecticut, and Matt Wilcox Jr., a transfer from Independence Community College. Redshirt freshman Caleb Martin and redshirt junior Jaret Pogliano add depth at the position.
Ellington served as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Midwestern State the past two years. In 2018 he tutored a receiver who set a new school record with 1,215 receiving yards. In 2017, his group helped the team win a Lone Star Conference Championship and reach a No. 11 national ranking.
“Everything is going great,” said Ellington of his arrival at EKU. “We have a lot of great people here. It’s awesome to see all the alumni in the stands at practice. The support for this program has impressed me the most. The amount of people around the program who want us to be great. It’s a great atmosphere here.”
EKU is ranked 24th in the Preseason HERO Sports Top 25, 25th in the Lindy’s Sports Preseason Top 25 and 26th in the College Sports Madness Top 44. 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.
Preseason Camp Schedule
(Note: dates and times are subject to change)
Practice 4 Tuesday August 6 9:45 a.m.
Wednesday August 7 Off
Practice 5 Thursday August 8 9:45 a.m.
Practice 6 Friday August 9 9:45 a.m.
Practice 7 Saturday August 10 9:15 a.m. (SCRIMMAGE)
Sunday August 11 Off
Practice 8 Monday August 12 9:45 a.m.
Practice 9 Tuesday August 13 9:45 a.m.
Practice 10 Wednesday August 14 9:45 a.m.
Practice 11 Thursday August 15 9:45 a.m.
Practice 12 Friday August 16 9:45 a.m.
Practice 13 Saturday August 17 9:45 a.m. (SCRIMMAGE)
Practice 14 Sunday August 18 10:45 a.m.