Here are six things learned from a conversation with Kennesaw State football coach Brian Bohannon on Tuesday:
Offseason workouts are going well. The Owls, which went 6-5 last year in their inaugural season, have had impressive attendance for the summer's strength and conditioning workouts. Bohannon estimates that at least 80 of the team's more than 100 players are participating. He said all of the scholarship players are there.
“To me, the summer is so huge from a strength and conditioning standpoint,” he said. “It’ll make a difference for us as we go into the season. Our kids will be ready.”
Kennesaw State will host East Tennessee State in its season opener on Sept. 3 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
Workout warriors. Bohannon said linebacker Anthony Gore, a sophomore from Statesboro, has really changed his body. Bohannon said he expect big things from him. Gore started nine games and had 52 tackles last season.
Offensive lineman Ryan Warrior, a redshirt sophomore from Sandy Creek High School, is also having a good summer.
“We have a bunch of guys that are working extremely hard,” Bohannon said.
Expectations. Bohannon said the solid attendance for workouts hasn't changes his expectations for the season or the program.
“When we set out on this journey, we said, you are coming here to compete for a championship,” Bohannon said. “I think that the biggest thing is we continue to move forward toward that goal is to continue to get better as football players and programs.
“I’m going to squash any kind of complacency. That won’t exist for us. We don’t talk about winning championships. We talk about what we do day to day, which is being in here this summer and working.”
New faces. Bohannon said the team has added three transfers:
- Zack Blaylock, a safety from Kentucky who played at Walton High School;
- Brent Wemberly an inside linebacker from Georgia Military College who played at Westover High School;
- Kyle Whitaker, a defensive end from Dean College who played at Walton High School;
Bohannon said he expects he will add 4-5 transfers each year.
The team will also have 18 true freshmen.
Attrition. Bohannon said linebacker Kyron Minter and Will Cape elected not to return to play football. Minter played in 11 games last season, starting five, and had 17 tackles. Cape played in 11 games.
Bohannon said everyone is healthy except for running back Jae Bowen, whom he hopes to have back during the season. He rushed for 184 yards and five touchdowns on 27 carries last season.
Night games. Bohannon said he hopes that playing three night games at home will create a hostile environment for opponents.
“We want to do things that will create excitement,” he said. “It was very obvious to us after getting feedback that there was something we needed to do. It will be a great atmosphere.”
The games are: Sept. 3 vs. East Tennessee State, Sept. 10 vs. Point and Oct. 15 vs. Liberty. Kick offs are 7 p.m.
The team announced sellouts for each of its home games last year. Fifth Third Bank Stadium has a capacity of 8,300.
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