ORONO – The UMaine football team transitions its focus to its week one opponents after Wednesday.
“Everybody needs to now understand what we have to do because in nine days we’re going to be out here doing it for real,” said head coach Nick Charlton.
Fall camp, proving ground for players trying to earn playing time, is in the books, after eighteen practices. The team’s younger players were given opportunity to show promise Wednesday at its final preseason practice.
“There’s a certain group of guys that are getting ready for special teams and traveling and things like that, a lot of those guys have already taken a lot of reps, today it was some younger guys even farther down the line, some good things, some not so good things, but the guys were working and the effort was high,” said Charlton.
Joe Fitzpatrick and Earnest Edwards were in pads today for the first time this summer after overcoming nagging injuries, playing amongst those younger players Wednesday’s scrimmage.
“We needed them to go today and that was encouraging, it’s important they get tackled, run around and make a couple plays, it was very encouraging to see them working so I was happy about that,” said Charlton.
Both players were still in a full rehabilitation program on the first day of camp, after a summer of work toward preparation; Fitzpatrick working on a back injury, Edwards working on a nagging hamstring injury.
“It was more annoying than anything, you put a lot of time in the offseason to work out, get bigger, faster stronger then right before camp starts I get a little tweak, little banged up,” said Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick and Edwards echoed that there was no hesitation once they were running plays again.
“Once I hit the field I’m ready to go, ready to give it all I got and do whatever it takes to help this program get better each day,” said Edwards
“Just to know, to wake up today that I’m going to go and I’m going to feel good just sort of lit a fire under me, I was happy, I was ready,” said Fitzpatrick.