Martin: 2010 team reminds me of 2006 squad

Josh Johnston

This year’s edition of the Kent State football team brings Doug Martin memories of the last bowl-eligible team at Kent State, the Flashes’ coach said during the team’s weekly press conference earlier today.

“This group really reminds me of our 2006 football team when Julian Edelman came in here with a different attitude and a different chip on his shoulder and just a different presence,” Martin said. “That’s kind of what these guys seem to have.”

The Flashes went 6-6 that year to end their streak of four straight losing seasons and become bowl eligible for the first time in as many years. Earlier today, Martin said this year’s team shows the same determination the 2006 team showed.

“This team just has that hunger about it,” he said. “That will to want to succeed and want to be coached, and they want to be pushed.”

The 2006 team boasted numerous future NFL players, including Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman and Saints defensive back Usama Young. Senior free safety Brian Lainhart was a freshman on the 2006 team and said today he sees a lot of the same competitiveness this year.

“…The way they competed in practice and at lifting and off the field, that’s the thing with this year’s (preseason) camp and this year’s team,” said Lainhart, who is the leading FBS returner in career interceptions. “It’s offense, defense back and forth. One day the offense might come out and win, the next day the defense might come out and win.

“That’s the biggest thing between this year and teams in the past I’ve played on, just the fire guys play with.”

Also at the press conference:

– Martin said sophomore quarterback Spencer Keith is fully recovered from last year’s season-ending shoulder injury and will not be limited against Murray State on Thursday. In the offseason, Keith gained about 15 pounds to prevent injury this year.

– Keith’s backup, junior Giorgio Morgan, has impressed Martin in the preseason. Martin said he hopes to put Morgan in for an offensive series each half if he continues to improve. Depending on Morgan’s development, freshman Cedric McCloud may be redshirted this season.

– To free up the Flashes’ crowded backfield and use their talented running backs, Martin said junior Jacquise “Speedy” Terry will move to wide receiver for some plays and sophomore Dri Archer is slowly coming into that role as well. Archer will continue to return kickoffs with senior Anthony Bowman, and Eugene Jarvis will remain the punt returner.

– Martin admitted to not knowing much about Kent State’s opponent Thursday, Murray State. The Flashes’ season opener will be Murray State coach Chris Hatcher’s first game with the team. The Racers also bring in a younger team, Martin said.

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