MIAMI — When the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Golden Norsemen report the first week of July for the month-long organized team activities, head coach Clay Patterson and his staff will be evaluating several improvements made since the 2016 season.
One area where skill and leadership are expected to merge during the OTAs will be at quarterback.
“During our spring workouts, we had several returning players at different positions step up and show their skill set,” Patterson said. “That was a very important thing because it gives us a solid foundation to build upon.”
Redshirt sophomore Cordale Grundy (6-1, 170 from Tulsa’s Booker T. Washington) made major strides in both maturity and decision making while locked in a battle with two other returning signal callers.
“Although Cordale is a quarterback first, there are some things we can do with him once he gets out into space,” Patterson said. “He’s really dangerous once the protection breaks down.
“Cordale has become a triple threat in the backfield,” Patterson said. “Along with improving his arm strength and accuracy, Cordale has the foot speed to break a long run once he gets to the edge.”
Appearing in 10 games last season, Grundy completed 74 of 132 passes for 869 yards and six touchdowns with only three interceptions.
Grundy ranked second on the team in rushing with 366 yards on 56 carries and four TDs. He also caught two passes for 13 yards.
Redshirt sophomore Wyatt Steigerwald and freshmen Clayton Sims, Terrell Reynolds and Kameron Jinks are also in the mix.
Steigerwald (6-1, 190 from Nowata) played in seven games last season. He completed 11 of 17 passes for 107 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. He also recorded a 10-yard carry from under center.
Sims (6-1, 180 from Edmond Deer Creek), Reynolds (6-0, 180 from Taylor, Texas) and Jinks (6-5, 195 from Miami) are all true freshmen.
Another freshman quarterback prospect expected to report in July is Baehler Buol (6-2, 180 from Noble).