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Sumlin plans on being a Monmouth playmaker
If there was a play of the day during Saturday’s Monmouth University intrasquad football scrimmage, it was provided by backup quarterback Craig Peterson, a fifth-year senior, and reserve wideout Eric Sumlin, a rising sophomore.
Peterson (Manalapan), filling in for starting quarterback Kyle Frazier, rolled right and delivered a 53-yard strike to the diving 5-foot-9, 180-pound Sumlin.
“It was a good catch and a good throw,” Monmouth coach Kevin Callahan said.
Sumlin, who saw spot duty as a freshman when he also played on special teams, is vying for time at a position where Monmouth has considerable depth, paced by 2011 Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year Neal Sterling (Manasquan) as well as Tristan Roberts, Thaddeus Richards and Kyle McGuire.
Sumlin and Roberts each had four catches on Saturday.
“I got in a little bit last year, but I knew as a freshman I just had to play my role,” said Sumlin, who earned First Team All-Henlopen Conference honors as a high school senior in Dover, Del. “This year, I plan on making big plays for Monmouth.
“We have a very strong group of receivers. We should have a big year this year.”
“We feel we have a number of guys who can make plays (at wide receiver),” Callahan added. “Eric is one of the guys in the mix.”
Sumlin said his long reception boosted his spirits on Saturday.
“I was a little mentally down,” he said. “I had dropped one that was a little low. I just had to make the play. I was focused in. I had to make it.”
Callahan provided a mixed review of Saturday’s action.
“I thought we showed the ability to make some plays on offense,” Callahan said. “We put a couple of good drives together. The defense did a good job on third downs, particularly in the second half.
“The things we’ve got to clean up (are that) we had way too many self-inflicted penalties. We had four false starts on the offense. We had two defensive (penalties) lining up in the neutral zone. Those are just things you can’t have. Physical mistakes and penalties you’re going to have, but you don’t want to just give yards away.”
“We’ve also got to do better job in ball security. We had three fumbles today. We lost one of them, but still we’ve got to protect the football and not be putting it on the ground.”
Frazier (ACL) and running back Julian Hayes (wrist), who set a Monmouth freshman running back record with 14 touchdowns in 2011, were among several regulars who did not suit up on Saturday but are expected to be ready for the season. … Rising junior running back Joe Impreveduto scored the only touchdown of the scrimmage, scampering 33 yards on a short pass from Peterson. … Safety candidate Clark Coe broke up three passes. … Defensive tackle Austin Kugler (Toms River North) had two sacks. … In kicking drills, Eric Spillane (Colts Neck) connected on a 42-yard field goal. … Anthony McDonna, a freshman transfer linebacker from the Salisbury School in Connecticut, led Monmouth with eight tackles. … Callahan said former Monmouth All-NEC safety Jose Gumbs felt “pretty good” about meetings with the Saints, Giants and Jets last week. The Eagles and Chiefs have recently contacted him.
By Tony Graham, Asbury Park Press