2014 KHQA Barnstorm Tour: Quincy University Hawks

Tom Pajic talks with his players after Sunday's scrimmage.

Tom Pajic: "I believe our foundation is set. Going in to this year, we'll have fifteen seniors. But we'll also start a ton of redshirt freshman and a ton of true freshman. So, even though it's the third year, our talent is better. But, we're going to be green in some areas, so we're going to be young. Those guys are going to make their mistakes, as long as they aren't for big plays. Hey, by the time there are sophomores, juniors and seniors, it will be a heck of a group on both sides."

The time is now though for this team. Once the season starts, the present and future will be the makeup of what QU puts on the field.

Pajic: "You're going to see new faces. So, we have guys that we redshirted for the spring that competed for jobs, now you're going to see a ton of redshirt freshman in the secondary and certainly a couple of true freshman everywhere else."

Ike Onike: "Excitement. We're more physical. People are able to learn. The young guys are hungry. The competition too has really brought us up to do our best, each one of us."

Competition has been a key word during camp. No one has taken advantage of their opportunity like freshman wideout Kody Wood from Jacksonville.

Pajic: "Kody's had a great camp through six practices. I'm really excited about him. He's quick, he's assignment disciplined, he's got good hands, he runs good routes, he made some plays here. I think he caught a touchdown, here. That speaks volumes."

Nick Lonergan: "He came in, he's doing really well right now. He's running good routes, we're both on the same page. Me and him, we've connected a couple times, so that's really good. We're working to improve on that and keep that going."

Kody Wood: "It's a lot to take in in the first week, learning the offense and everything. All the older guys have done a great job in helping me, I've been asking a lot of questions. The pace of the game is fast. It's a lot different then high school. The All-Star game, I thought was fast, this just blew it out of the water. I'm working more at the slot receiver instead of outside like I did in high school. I felt like I fit that mold a little better. There's still some things I have to work on. I had quite a few mistakes out here today. That's something I need to get in in the meetings and work on that."

Progress will have to start defensively. After giving up an average of thirty-three points and four-hundred and twenty-six yards of total of offense in 2013. The Hawks must get off the field on third down.

Onike: "All summer we've been working on is really trying to get to know the defense. There were some plays out there where the communication between coaches and the team was a little rough. But, by the end we got it right and we know the plays and execute basically."

Pajic: "We're going to hang our hat on defense. Ike Onike up front at linebacker, Dan Camp, Joe McNally, three returning starters. Then our bookends. We graduated two, but we have Tanner Day, Andrew Smikle, who is just is quick or if not quicker then the two guys we had last year. We recruited a couple new freshman who will see some time right there. Secondary, we are more athletic. We are young like we talked about it, but we're more athletic. We can run a little bit better. I'm hoping our team speed on defense is going to be pretty good."

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