Five things observed at Zama football camp
Another in a series of looks at football camps across the Pacific.
Five things learned during Wednesday’s visit to the Zama football camp:
-- Eighth-year coach Steven Merrell has 44 bodies out for practice, approaching the most he’s had. Quite a few good players, Merrell says, but not very many standouts. Nine starters and 11 total players return, giving the Trojans a veteran look, with folk who have experience and a good football IQ.
-- Among the players who have the potential to shine is Jacob Martin, a junior who will line up in the interior. “We have high hopes for him,” Merrell said.
-- Perhaps the biggest battle at any position will be under center or in the shotgun, between three seniors, Justin Brown, Kyler Merrell – the coach’s son – and Joseph Atkinson. Merrell calls it a spirited but friendly rivalry and healthy competition, that they complement each other and learn together, “which can only make us better,” Merrell said.
-- There don’t appear to be any surpluses or riches anywhere, and as far as needs, Merrell says his biggest concern is getting the offensive line established. He does have some strength and good athleticism with some experience in that line.
-- The Trojans possess various ability levels, understand Merrell’s concepts and what he and the team are trying to do, so they won’t be “doe eyes in the headlights,” he said. Not nearly what he had when Zama won the 2009 Division II title “yet, but we’re working toward getting there,” he said.