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EKU football holds first preseason practice; Colonels open season on Aug. 29 against Valparaiso

The Eastern Kentucky University football team held its first preseason practice of the season on Saturday morning.

The Colonels, in helmets and shorts for the first practice, were on the field for two and a half hours.

“There was a lot of enthusiasm and excitement today, which is to be expected on the first day,” EKU head coach Mark Elder said. “We have more depth than we have ever had on both sides of the ball. We were able to two-spot a lot of things, and that led to the practice being a little bit different and a little bit of a learning curve for some guys.

Mark Elder

“It was a good, positive first day, but we were just in helmets so there’s not a ton to access as far as performance.”

EKU begins the season on Aug. 29 when Valparaiso visits Roy Kidd Stadium. Fans can purchase season tickets by visiting EKUSports.com or calling (844) 3-GoBigE.

EKU is ranked 24th in the preseason HERO Sports Top 25 and 25th in the Lindy’s Sports preseason Top 25. The Colonels were picked to finish third in the Ohio Valley Conference. EKU ended the 2018 season with four straight wins and was in the conversation for a playoff spot.

The Colonels finished last season with a 7-4 overall record and third in the OVC with a 5-2 mark.

“With all the preseason picks, we’re still looking up at people,” Elder said. “So there’s no getting caught up in that. We are certainly a hungry football team and we have a really high level of expectations for what this team is capable of.

“To be honest, if we finish where people are projecting us to finish, I don’t think there will be a single guy in this program who will be excited about that.”

In addition, 47 of the 61 players listed on EKU’s season-ending depth chart will be back in 2019, including 18 starters.

“At this point we are quite deep as a program. There is a lot of competition at every spot,” said Elder. “We’re not at a point anymore where we need two true freshmen at a position to walk in the door and play a significant role.

“That’s where we were two years ago. I think we have some freshmen that are capable of doing that, but we’re not in a situation where we have to have them immediately.”

EKU has won two FCS national championships, 21 conference titles and made 21 playoff appearances. No other FCS team has won at least two FCS national titles and 20 or more conference championships.

EKU has also produced 66 All-America selections and 33 NFL draft picks.

From Eastern Kentucky University

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