MIAMI — With the second week of spring drills winding down, the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Golden Norsemen coaching staff will get their first evaluation at 10 a.m. Saturday as the team holds a scrimmage on Red Robertson Field.
More than 75 players have been aggressively involved in the physical aspect of preparing for the first full-team scrimmage, according to second year head coach Clay Patterson.
“Our guys are really putting in some hard work to buy into the things that we are teaching them,” Patterson said. “We’ve used a lot of hitting drills in the first six or seven practices to help them understand the physical part of the game.
“Then on Thursday and Friday we’ll back them up a little bit and get them ready for this first scrimmage,” Patterson said. “We want them to be fresh and ready to go after it on Saturday.”
One position that has caught Patterson’s eye as offensive coordinator has been the development of four players vying for the starting quarterback job.
“We knew we would have enough experience coming back at quarterback and that’s why we only signed two — Baehler Buol (6-2, 180 from Noble) and Kameron Jinks (6-4, 185 from Miami) — in February,” Patterson said. “This is going to be a real competitive situation.”
Redshirt sophomore Cordale Grundy (6-1, 190 from Tulsa Washington) returns after starting the last three games last season. Grundy completed 74 of 132 passes for 869 yards and nine touchdowns with three interceptions. He also rushed for 366 yards on 56 carries and four touchdowns.
“Cordale has a real good grasp of our offense and what we’re trying to get done,” Patterson said. “He’s worked real hard over the off-season to improve his arm strength and he also put on some weight without diminishing his foot speed.”
Providing competition under center are sophomore Wyatt Steigerwald and redshirt freshman Clayton Sims.
“All three of these guys are pushing each other for playing time,” Patterson said. “They all three throw the ball extremely well and they each add a different dimension to our offense.
Steigerwald (6-1, 190, from Nowata) completed 11 of 17 passes for 107 yards and one TD without an interception in seven games.
Sims (6-1, 185, from Edmond Deer Creek) sat out last season.
“With 10 experienced receivers to throw to, our quarterbacks need to continue to mature and accept the challenge of running our offense,” Patterson said. “We’re in good hands with these quarterbacks.”