By: Malcolm Anderson and DeVante Wynn
As the signing day hype comes to a close all we’re left with after the dust clears are football programs with a lot of new faces and a clean slate. For the Reinhardt Eagles that slate hopefully has some residue from an amazing season that they look to improve on with the signing of 82 recruits. NAIA Region 1 Coach of the Year Drew Cronic looks to rewrite and create his own history following a program best 9-2 season in which he led the Eagles to the highest ranking in the history of the program (7th). Reinhardt soared all the way into their first Championship playoff series where they untimely bowed out up in St. Francis, Indiana in the midst of a snow storm. Nonetheless the Eagles aim to soar high again with the newfound energy and ambition all of the recruits are bringing in. This year the lineup with definitely look a little different with the graduation of 2ndTeam All American Running Back Niagel Curtis, offensive playmaking threat Sam Jones, the pocket presence of Quarterback Johnathan Chamblee and the leadership skills of Offensive Guard Sherrod Mitchell and Tight End Nate Holton among a host of other highly accoladed seniors that won’t be back in the fall. Most of that list includes a group of guys that can be considered the Founding Fathers of the program. Some of the seasoned veterans such as; Aaron Kennedy, Marcus Miller, Ryan Anderson and Christian Hill will become the new leaders in addition to a great coaching staff as the Eagle’s look to grow in their fourth season.
Reinhardt signed 55 on National Signing Day, Wednesday, February 3, 2016. Coach Cronic was happy with the success but said, “There’s still a few kids out there that we’re trying to get, so we’ll continue to do that.” Staying true to his word, Reinhardt was able to ink another 27 players from all over the southeast in the next couple of days. Reinhardt maintained its Georgia-focused tradition in recruiting. The Eagles signed over 60 kids from their home state of Georgia and was able to sign the remainder from Alabama, Florida, Texas, and Tennessee. Coach Cronic has sent all signees workout plans identical to what the team is doing back in Waleska and the recruits are expected to come to camp in the fall in tremendous shape.
Led by 24 rising seniors, the Eagles have started their winter strength and conditioning program and will begin spring practice later in the semester.