Not even two full months after the 2020 Cure Bowl, Coastal Carolina is nearly halfway done with its spring practice schedule.
In less than two weeks, the Chanticleers will take the field for their annual spring game, which is scheduled for Feb. 18 at Brooks Stadium.
“When it comes to the little things, that’s what we emphasize,” defensive line coach Skylar Magee said. “Whether it’s taking that correct step, the correct angle, those little things are never going to change. So our expectations aren’t going to change."
Despite featuring a standout defense, including some key contributors from last season's 11-1 campaign, players and coaches are always searching for ways to improve.
“We made a major emphasis on the point of contact,” Magee said. “Getting good at the very, very point of contact at the beginning of the play, whether it’s run or pass.”
One player looking to make an impact for the Black Swarm this season is Jeffrey Gunter.
Gunter originally came to Coastal in 2018 but transferred to Syracuse after that season. Gunter then switched his decision play for the Orange and decided to put on the red and white of North Carolina State. After being a journeyman for his first two seasons in college football, Coastal's bandit said he is happy to be home in Conway.
“This is a dream come true for me,” Gunter said. “This is my home. This is where I want to be. If I had the opportunity, I wouldn’t want to play for anyone else.”
The Chants also have high expectations for sophomore transfer Emmanuel Johnson, who came to Coastal in the spring from Georgia Tech.
“Physically, he is going to develop into a very, very good football player,” Magee said. “He has the size. He has the strength. And he has the fitness. Having him to come in and help a bit has been huge for us.”
Kickoff time for the spring game has not been announced.
New season, new video game
While the team is excited for the upcoming spring game, coaches and players received more good news last week when EA Sports announced it was bringing back a college football video game.
The game returns after an eight-year hiatus. In 2013, EA Sports announced it would not be renewing its contract with the NCAA due to a legal dispute regarding the use of player likenesses.
Magee said that return of the game will be “great for recruiting.”
“It’s going to be great all around for just getting your name out there,” he said.
Coastal Carolina was on the rise in the FCS when EA Sports stopped making the game. With the game possibly being released before the 2022 season, players and coaches are ready to see the program featured.
“It’s fun seeing these guys get exited about it,” Magee said.
“I’m boosting all my stats,” he said with a laugh.
With the return of the game, there are certain aspects such as the recruiting feature or “Road to Glory” — where gamers can play as a senior in high school trying to get recruited by a top school — that players like Gunter hope to see in the new game.
“I’m a big 'Road to Glory' guy,” Gunter said. “I still have NCAA 14, so I’m excited for all of it. To see the teal turf and hopefully me in the game, I’m just excited. I’ll pay $150 to get that game if I need to.”