REMINDER: Gathering of Eagles is Saturday in Tucker Stadium
Aug 18, 2011
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech football fans will get
their best preseason look at the Golden Eagles this Saturday when
Athletics hosts the annual Gathering of Eagles in Tucker
The Gathering of Eagles is a picnic for the fans featuring the
team’s second – and probably most important –
scrimmage of fall camp. The event will begin at 12 noon when the
gates open, and fans are invited to enjoy free food and drinks, as
well as receive football posters and schedule cards .
Coach Watson Brown's squad will hold its scrimmage at 1 p.m., and
the final coaching staff will use the event to determine the
team’s latest two-deep rotations to prepare for the Sept. 3
season opener at Iowa.
Immediately following the scrimmage, members of the Tech football
team will be seated at tables on the sidelines to sign posters and
meet with fans.
"From a fan's perspective, this event has proven to be a lot of
fun," Brown said. "It gives the fans a chance to come out and enjoy
some good food, watch some football, and get to meet our
"From the coach's perspective, the final scrimmage will give our
team a good opportunity to evaluate where we stand and where we
need to get to before our first game," he said. "It will also give
the coaching staff a chance to look at some film and fill in some
open spots on the depth chart."
The team enters its fifth season under Brown's direction, and
promises to bring plenty of action into the 2011 season, a year
that is being called The Fastest 60 Minutes in Football.
In last week’s scrimmage, the team lived up to that billing,
piling up nearly 500 yards in just 60 minutes of play.
"The Gathering of Eagles is a great event to kick off the fall,"
TTU Director of Athletics Mark Wilson said. "It has been growing
every year, and everyone who attends tells us how much they enjoy
it. I think our student-athletes also enjoy the opportunity to get
to meet the fans face-to-face."
The Golden Eagles will host five home football games during the
2011 season, opening against Maryville College on Thursday, Sept.
8. After that, Tech will welcome four consecutive Ohio Valley
Conference opponents with visits from Southeast Missouri (Sept.
24), Tennessee State (Oct. 15), Murray State (Nov. 5) and Austin
Peay (Nov. 19).
For season ticket information, contact the Tennessee Tech
Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or call 931-372-3940.
Tickets are also on sale online at TTUsports.com.
Two surgeries scheduled
Two Golden Eagle players have sustained injuries in fall camp that
will require surgery. Linebacker Jerry King, a junior from Stone
Mountain, Ga., suffered a torn ACL during the first week on the
field. Cy Ables, a redshirt freshman wide receiver, will undergo
Who’s new to look for Saturday
One of the big yields from the scrimmage coming up Saturday will
be watching the performances of newcomers and determining if they
will step up into playing roles in their debut seasons.
On the second day of camp, before the team put on the pads (before
coaches had the chance to see anybody in game-situations), the
position coaches were asked to identify incoming players who might
emerge onto the depth chart and see playing time in 2011. On
Saturday, as fans try to peer into the future, they can look for
these players -- those who had the coaches’ attention, at
least on the first day of camp.
On defense, five names were mentioned including two on the line,
two backs and one at linebacker. On the offensive side, four names
surfaced, including one lineman and three receivers.
Linebackers coach Billy Taylor pointed to true freshman
Tra’Darius Goff (30), who has already enjoyed much success on
the field in Tucker Stadium. He was named both the offensive MVP
and the Defensive
MVP of the TSSAA State Championship game in December.
Along the defensive line, coach Sam Williamson projected freshmen
Tommy Campbell (70) and Avery Rollins (52) are two who might emerge
into the spotlight. Campbell is 6-2, 250-pound first-team all-state
signee from Cincinnati’s Wyoming High School. Rollins
checks in a 6-3, 230 pounds and hails from Gadsden (Ala.) City High
In the secondary, coach Sidney Powell said he’d be looking
for Austin Tallant (14) and Jamel Cook (27) early in camp. Tallant
is a 5-10, 190-pounder all-state cornerback from seven-time state
champion Alcoa (Tenn.) High School. Cook was also an all-state pick
during his career at Spain Park High School in Birmingham.
He’s a 5-11, 175-pounder.
The biggest player on the roster, 6-foot-6, 340-pound Justin Ivory
(64) is expected to work his way into a possible playing role in
the offensive line, according to coach Thomas Cox. Ivory prepped at
Vestavia Hills High School in suburban Birmingham.
Out at wide receiver, where coach Ron Sigler is looking to fill
some vacancies, three newcomers’ names surfaced when camp
opened – Steve Wilson (18), Neil Gannaway (81) and Wade
Plemons (80). Wilson is a 6-3, 195-pound product of Smyrna (Tenn.)
High School who played quarterback for the Bulldogs. Gannaway is a
6-4, 190-pound pass catcher from Vestavia Hills High School where
he was Ivory’s teammate. Plemons is a 6-3, 185-pound walk-on
addition from Loudon (Tenn.) High School.