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Eachus hopes to join Colgate's 1,000-yard club, make playoffs
Nate Eachus comes into the 2010 season with high expectations.
Not only does he want to break 1,000 yards, the 5-10, 206-pound junior running back for Colgate also wants to help the Raiders beat former backyard rival Syracuse in Week 3 and then go to the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
“Syracuse is only 40 minutes away from campus and it’s an old-time rivalry,” Eachus said after Wednesday’s practice. “Most people don’t give us much of a chance but I think we can give them a run for the money.”
That should help prepare Colgate, 9-2 last fall, for a challenging run through the Patriot League.
“We’re in good shape,” Eachus said. “The offensive line is very experienced and the quarterback (Greg Sullivan) is back. We have lots of weapons, but any team can beat anyone in the Patriot League and we can’t take anyone lightly.”
That sense of maturity isn’t surprising considering Eachus was nurtured in Hazleton Area’s program under coach Rocco Petrone. As a Cougar, Eachus was the premier big-school running back in the Lower Anthracite Region, winning several awards. He was the Reading Eagle All-Anthracite Player of the Year as a senior when he helped his team win the District 2-AAAA championship.
Last year, while battling a rib injury in the early part of the season, he rushed for 919 yards on 187 carries and scored 16 touchdowns. His best game was against Lafayette, when he rushed for 216 yards and scored five touchdowns.
Missing action as a sophomore was difficult after an impressive freshman year in which he was named the Patriot League’s top rookie. He broke a rib early in the opener against Monmouth and missed the rest of that game and the next three.
“It was like I missed four games,” Eachus said. “I’m looking forward to being healthy this year.”
Not surprisingly, big things are expected this year as Eachus is one of seven Colgate players to be named to the preseason All-Patriot League team by Phil Steele.
“The offensive line has been a strength,” Eachus said. “There will be a lot of experience and the coaching staff does a good job recruiting linemen. Our strength is to look to the line in the fourth quarter, put our trust in them and burst through.”
He will be running behind two other preseason all-league players in Kevin Morgan and Will Elmore. Last year, the offensive line helped the Raiders averaged 249.9 yards per game, which was third-best among FCS schools.
He has no doubt they will have his back again this year.
“They have so much experience and dedication,” Eachus said. “They are the first in the weight room and the last to leave.
“That’s definitely a plus, especially as a runner. At Hazleton I had a great career because we had an amazing offensive line. When I had 2,200 yards in a season, all credit goes to them. (In college) they’re bigger and stronger, but the mentality is the same.”
The Sept. 4 opener against Monmouth can’t come soon enough.
“I want to have a better season with a great team and win a championship,” Eachus said.
Eachus hopes to join Colgate’s 1,000-yard club, make playoffs
By Evan Jones, Reading Eagle correspondent