Four things to take from Kent State’s spring football camp

Sophomore+wide+receiver+Nick+Holley+gets+tackled+by+the+Jaguars+Desmond+LaVelle+at+the+game+against+Southern+Alabama+Saturday%2C+Sept.+6%2C+2014.

Sophomore wide receiver Nick Holley gets tackled by the Jaguars’ Desmond LaVelle at the game against Southern Alabama Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014.

Stephen Means II

 The Kent State football team is moving forward from what could be called a forgettable 2014 season. On top of the death of junior offensive lineman Jason Bitsko, the Flashes suffered a handful of injuries and eventually finished the season with a record of 2-9 (1-6 Mid-American Conference).

During spring camp, the coaching staff saw a lot of positive things they can take into the summer.

“The positive thing is we accomplished what we needed to accomplish,” head coach Paul Haynes said. “We installed a new offense, and we worked on fundamentals and techniques defensively.”

With spring camp now over, the Flashes can take four things away from what they accomplished.

Don Treadwell’s spread offensive attack

This off-season, Kent State promoted Don Treadwell to offensive coordinator. Treadwell, who was the running backs coach for the Flashes, brings with him the spread offense this season. The up-tempo offense puts an emphasis on spreading the field and using speed and playmaking ability of the Flashes’ offensive weapons.

“We like where we are,” Haynes said. “The things that we’ve wanted to accomplish this spring, we wanted to make sure that we installed our offense and that guys understand it.”

Treadwell was the head coach at Miami and an offensive coordinator at Cincinnati and Michigan State prior to coming to Kent State.

It will take everyone to replace Pierce and Humphrey.

Casey Pierce and Chris Humphrey shouldered the majority of the offensive load for the Flashes last season. With both of those players gone, Haynes doesn’t expect just one or two people stepping up and replacing them — he feels that it will take everyone to make up for the lost of the two.

“I think this is one of those teams where you are going to see a collective effort by a lot of different guys,” Haynes said. “We lost some guys on offense who had a lot of production for us, and I don’t know if there’s one person that’s going to pick up that, I think it’s going to be a group effort.”

Pierce is projected to be a seventh round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

“I think he was a hard worker,” Haynes said. “He had a chip on his shoulder because he was a walk-on. Always had a great attitude and a great work ethic.”

One player the Flashes are returning is senior running back Trayion Durham, who missed all of last season after a foot injury.

Defensive production is a must.

Haynes mentioned two people that he feels need to step up their game if the Flashes want to be successful.

“There are guys who have to have good season for us,” Haynes said. “Nate Terhune is a guy that going to have to have a big year for us. You look at Nate Holley who’s coming back from a All-MAC conference performance.”

Junior safety Holley led the flashes with 137 total tackles while fifth-year senior defensive lineman Terhune led with 3.5 sacks last season.

 

The quarterback position is always up for grabs.

Junior Colin Reardon is entering his third season as the starting quarterback for Kent State, but that doesn’t mean that he is exempt from losing that spot.

“There’s always a battle at that position,” Haynes said. “You would hope that him coming into his third year that he can be that guy, but there’s always competition. That’s what makes (sophomore Nathan) Strock and him and (redshirt freshmen) George Bollas better because there’s so much competition there.”

Reardon has compiled 4,423 passing yards and 26 touchdown passes over the past two seasons as well as 25 interceptions.

The Flashes will begin their season in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, when they take on the University of Illinois on Friday, Sept. 4.

Contact Stephen Means II at [email protected]