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Eagle season takes flight, Barham joins
Barham Cornelius
Cornelius Barham graduated LCHS this spring. - photo by Photo provided.
STATESBORO — First-year head coach Chris Hatcher officially opened fall camp as the Georgia Southern Eagles hit the practice fields Monday.
Per NCAA rules the team is allowed to bring in 90 players to fall camp. Those players who did not start practice on Monday will join the team following the start of classes next Monday.
During the first three days of fall camp the team had two-a-days, but the squad is broken up into two groups. One group (consisting of mainly younger players) practiced in the morning session while the other group lifts weights. In the afternoon the two groups switch. Hatcher said this gives the coaching staff a better opportunity to take a close look at the players and what they can do.
“First of all you get more reps with the guys you have out there. You have all the young guys in the morning, you don’t go quite as fast a tempo as the afternoon so you get to teach them more,” Hatcher said. “The biggest mistake you can make as a coach is come out here, throw a whole bunch at them and then those young guys are thinking too much and you can’t see what type of player they really are. We try to keep it simple with them early on so that we can see if they are going to be able to help us out down the road this season.”
Both sessions suffered through the heat. Temperatures approached 100 degrees, with the heat index into triple digits, and that’s expected to be the same all week. On Thursday the team will practice together for the first time, a two-hour morning session. Per NCAA rules Friday is the first day the team can wear full pads.
Georgia Southern opens the 2007 season on Sept. 8 against West Georgia with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m. For ticket information call the Georgia Southern ticket office at 800-GSU-WINS.

New faces
Georgia Southern welcomed several new faces to the program, many who joined in late summer. The Eagles picked up three defensive ends, junior Brandon Lee Williams (Antioch, Calif./College of San Francisco) and sophomores Kerry Bonds (Tallahassee, Fla./South Carolina) and Jerome Pelham (Spring Valley, N.Y./Nassau Community College).
Redshirt-freshman defensive lineman Antonio Solomon (Savannah/Jenkins High School) actually wrestled last year at UCF before joining the program this summer.
A pair of defensive backs joined the program as well; junior Henry Chubb (Waycross/Troy) and freshman Hudson Presume (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast).
Freshmen linebackers Brent Gordon (Fitzgerald) and Cornelius Barham (Hinesville/Liberty County) joined, as did freshman wide receiver Cole Stevenson (Marietta/Sprayberry High).
Sophomore quarterback Caleb Callahan (Dalton/Northwest) joined the program from Jones CC.
Two more freshmen will help the special teams, long snapper Carter Jones (Moultrie/Colquitt County) and kicker Nick Sasser (Brunswick).

Other changes
Assistant coach Wes Turner (2006 graduate of Georgia Southern) moved during the summer from being an offensive assistant to defensive assistant. Four incoming recruits did not join the Eagles, including: junior defensive back Roger King, freshman defensive back Elbert Lee, freshman offensive lineman Chris Gray and freshman running back James Lewis. Sophomore defensive linemen Neal Jones and Kenny Brown, sophomore running back Brandon Terry and junior defensive lineman Devin Shivers also left the program.
Evan Mattingly and Ri’Chard Davis moved from defensive back to outside linebacker. Defensive back Brandon Echols changed numbers, going from 35 to 9, quarterback Kyle Collins switched from 13 to 12 and linebacker Harland Bower moved from 46 to 47.

Injury update
Five Eagles are currently sidelined with injuries. Harland Bower is recovering from a biceps injury suffered last spring. Tight end Michael Veal continues to recover from an ACL injury last spring. Incoming freshman Kenny Stanley is getting a heart ailment checked out by a specialist. Offensive lineman Lewis Brooks suffered a pectoral injury earlier this year. Redshirt-freshman defensive back Matt Covington continues to recover from a knee injury suffered last spring.
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