STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Anyone who’s met Georgia Southern head coach Chad Lunsford or follows him on social media knows he is a people person.
So being the sole person in the Eagles’ football offices these days hasn’t been the easiest thing for him, though he’s happy to report there have been no positive COVID-19 tests among Eagle players, coaches, or staff members.
“This has really kicked my butt. Part of my world is being able to physically see and talk to our guys,” Lunsford admits. “But I’ve heard before that false enthusiasm is still enthusiasm. So anytime I’m not feeling it, I know I have to bring it anyway. That’s what I work to do.”
Lunsford says daily Zoom meetings with his team and coaching staff have helped in a way, but adds it doesn’t equal the real thing. Nevertheless, he’s staying positive through the whole thing.
Just like his approach towards having a football season this fall.
“I believe we’ll play college football this fall,” Lunsford says. “I don’t have anything to base that off of, other than I think our guidance on how to defeat this thing and if everybody complies and does what they’re supposed to, I think it’ll get here faster than we think.”
All that said, Lunsford knows the key to having a season will be having his team ready. How much time does he feel the Eagles will need to make that happen? He’ll admit he’s not sure.
Southern only got in a handful of practices this spring before the Sun Belt cancelled all activities for the remainder of the academic year. If there is a season as regularly scheduled, Lunsford says the challenge will be having his team physically prepared for the September 5 opener at Boise State.
“We have to be very mindful of our guys’ health and safety. We have to be very mindful of their bodies being ready to compete in a sport that is very violent,” Lunsford says. “We have to make sure that they have enough time to build the strength in their bodies so they’re ready to go out there and be physically prepared.”
To that end, Lunsford hopes teams will get some time in the summer for conditioning. But he admits it may simply come down to fall camp and trusting the players to stay in shape on their own for the time being.
“The unfortunate part is some of our guys with where they are now can’t get in a gym, can’t do those things they need,” he says. “But I’m very positive that when we get them back, they’re going to be in better shape than we think. I think our guys are really working at it.”
OTHER NOTES FROM LUNSFORD:
- Sophomore DB Java’n Singletary has withdrawn his name from the transfer portal and will return to the Eagles this fall.
- Says he and his wife have been watching a lot of Netflix and Hulu these days. Went through Ozark “pretty quickly” and watched Tiger King as well. “There’s a lot of Disney stuff that goes on in my house,” he adds.
- Says he doesn’t really like the Atlanta Falcons’ new uniforms. “They have red in them,” Lunsford laughs. “I’m not a big fan of red.”