JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Aug. 29, 2015) – With less than a week remaining until gameday, ETSU football head coach Carl Torbush sat down with the Buccaneer Sports Network to talk about the progress made over the last three weeks of practice, while looking back at building the program from scratch.
When coach Torbush was hired on June 21, 2013, he needed to start assembling a staff and recruit football players. The Buccaneer leader did a phenomenal job getting the pieces into place as he and his coaching staff have placed over 110 players on the current roster. Of the 111 total players, 74 (67-percent) are from the state of Tennessee, while 97 are either true freshman or red-shirt freshman.
When asked about the process on building the program from scratch, Torbush refers to it as “humble pride.”
“I like to say it’s humble pride to see where this thing has gone over the last two years,” said Torbush. “It’s amazing how many days have gone by since I was hired (June 2013) as a head football coach. To put together a staff, to know we started with zero football players and now we have over 110 on the field, to see us get ready to go into the first game, to know we have a future stadium planned, and know we play Tennessee in four years is truly exciting. The community, student body, and faculty/staff have shown great enthusiasm. There are a lot of great things going on right now around campus. What we need to do is go out there and put a solid product on the field, while build this program not just for one year but for many years to come.”
With the coaching staff and players in place, the Blue and Gold opened preseason camp on Thursday, Aug. 6 and began preparing for their season-opener against Kennesaw State.
“We’ve been able to get a lot of things done over the last three weeks,” Torbush said. “We’ve had about 15 practices and scrimmaged three times, so it’s been really productive getting ready for our first game. Obviously, there has been great improvement.”
As preseason camp concluded with a final scrimmage on Aug. 22, game week has approached and coach Torbush knows the importance of these final practice days before the Bucs take the field for the first time since defeating The Citadel on a game-winning field goal back on Nov. 22, 2003.
“Right now we are in game week mode, so it’s time we get the proper players in the proper place,” added Torbush. “We have to make sure the two-deep is completed, not only on offense and defense, but also on special teams. At this time, it is important going into the first game that we are organized and our players understand exactly when they need to go into the game. A couple of our practices leading up to the first game will focus on gameday organization and make sure we have the proper procedures, so when game time happens, the players know exactly where to be.”
Saturday marks exactly 800 days since coach Torbush was hired back in the summer of 2013, and now we’re down to only five days until ETSU takes on Kennesaw State on Sept. 3 at Kermit Tipton Stadium. Excitement has continued to build as tickets have been sold out, while a select number of standing room only tickets will be made available on game day.
Following an off day on Saturday, the Bucs return to practice on Sunday afternoon to continue making final preparations for their season opener.
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