RICHMOND – Just like the safeties, offensive line and tight ends, the Eastern Kentucky University wide receivers are under new direction this season.
Charlie Skalaski III joined the Colonel program in July as associate head coach, recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach. He brings a host of collegiate and professional coaching experience with him to Richmond. He started his coaching career working under the likes of Steve Spurrier and Mike Shanahan at the University of Florida and also spent two seasons as an assistant in the NFL.
“Things are going great,” Skalaski said of his first preseason camp with the Colonels. “We’re trying to stress more fundamentals, we need to get good at the basic things. We need to become more disciplined and more mentally tough as well as physically tough.”
Essentially, Skalaski’s first receiving corps at EKU is either very experienced, or very inexperienced. There’s not much in between.
On the experienced side, redshirt junior Devin Borders and senior Jeff Glover will line up on the outsides while redshirt senior Jaucady Rutledge lines up in the slot. Borders was the 2013 Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year. Glover had a team-high 43 receptions and 746 yards last season. Rutledge played in just two games a year ago due to an injury, but played in 20 games over two seasons before that and is in his fifth year in the program.
Rutledge knows what fans can expect from him and his fellow wide receivers in 2015.
“Big plays,” Rutledge said. “We had a couple last year but we expect more of them.”
Other experienced wide outs include redshirt seniors Joel Brown and Taylor Miller, and redshirt junior Jared Sanders who is seeing action in the slot this fall. Brown played in all 13 games last season while Miller appeared in 11 and caught 12 passes.
On the inexperienced side of the spectrum, the group of redshirt sophomores Tranard Chester and Bryson Williams, sophomore Scott Daniel, redshirt freshmen Torrodd Carter and Derius Jones, and true freshmen Arien Beasley and Michael Scott have played a combined 15 college games and have a combined 24 collegiate receptions, 22 of which belong to Daniel.
Williams is a Prestonsburg High School graduate.
“Seeing as I’m new, I’ve told all of these guys that we’re starting with a clean slate,” Skalaski said. “So really I’m looking for everybody to have a breakout year and some guys are stepping up. Right now it’s a wide open competition.”
Eastern Kentucky will begin the 2015 campaign at home against Valparaiso on Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. Season tickets for the 2015 season are on sale now. To purchase season tickets, call the EKU Ticket Office at 859-622-2122.