No longer the hunters: VMI football entering fall as the SoCon’s team to beat

The Keydets appeared in their first ever FCS playoff game in the spring

LEXINGTON, Va. – The expectations are certainly high for the 2020 Southern Conference Champions and the VMI Keydets are taking that very seriously. Former Patrick Henry Patriot Leroy Thomas said that as VMI heads into the season this year, it is no longer the hunter, but rather the hunted.

“After winning the trophy and taking it back here, everyone wants us now,” the wide receiver said. “We have to be the ones to maintain and go back and do it one more time.”

With an offseason under his belt, quarterback Seth Morgan looked confident and equipped to run the offense.

“We have the mindset of don’t practice until you get it right, practice so much that you don’t get it wrong,” he said. “I feel great going into this season. I have a great group of teammates around me getting me right on a day-to-day basis, so I think last season was definitely a good boost pushing into this season, but I’m ready to build off that for this season.”

And the Keydet defense is ready for anything, packed with veteran talent, and Lord Botetourt alum Evan Eller, who was taking reps with the starters in Saturday’s scrimmage.

“I really feel like I haven’t played this well since I got injured, I just feel back to normal,” Eller said. “I’m really confident in myself to play up to my ability, and then I’m confident in my teammates as well. And I’m pretty sure they’re confident in me, so it feels good to be out there with the ones running around again.”

So what makes this team different than years past?

“There’s a talent level that’s at the high end,” head coach Scott Wachenheim said. “I think they’re taking more ownership on accountability. I think I’ve seen the leadership take charge and hold themselves and their teammates accountable. So, I like the way we started, but we have a long way to go.”

VMI opens up at home on Sept. 4 against Davidson. The Wildcats are led by former Washington and Lee coach, Scott Abel, who earned 6 ODAC Championships in 10 seasons in Lexington.

About the Author:

Brooke Leonard is the newest addition to the 10 Sports team, joining in June 2019.