Coach Tommy Buzzo toyed this preseason with moving senior RB Adrian Hull (5 feet 7, 180), a playmaker in the open field, to quarterback to fill the vacancy left by the graduation of two-year starter Nick Monaco. But the progression of the Eagles' other two quarterbacks, sophomore Wayne Conner (5-11, 153) and junior Jeremy Ulrich (6-2, 155), kept Hull at tailback so Conner and Ulrich could compete for the starting job.
"There was a lot of concern there in the offseason," Buzzo said. "But now that we're getting closer, we feel like one of those other two guys is going to be able to step up and lead this football team. Adrian would have been more of a runner back there. And I'm not saying you won't see him there at all this year, but I think it's best for the team if we don't have to use him there all the time."
Regardless of who is behind center, the Eagles aren't likely to throw the ball often. Even with the graduation of second-team All-Met Justin Carrington, the Eagles not only return Hull but also speedy junior RB Myles Reid (5-8, 172) and powerful senior FBs Aaron Hull (6-0, 260) and Bryan Roof (6-0, 254).
Liberty also boasts one of the biggest and most experienced offensive lines in the area behind senior returning starters Josh Defnall (5-11, 170), Chris Moline (6-0, 288), Alex Stadler (6-6, 313) and Bobby Thompson (6-0, 280).
The Eagles are less experienced on defense, where they return only four starters. Three of them -- Aaron Hull at defensive end, Adrian Hull at cornerback and Roof at inside linebacker -- were all-Region II selections at those positions a year ago.
Buzzo said Aaron Hull, who was also an honorable-mention All-Met and the All-Extra Defensive Player of the Year, seems to have been more inspired since orally committing to Temple University this past spring.
"He's bigger, stronger, faster, and he's focused," Buzzo said. "He's more determined than I've ever seen him. With a scholarship already in hand, I think he understands more than ever that this is his future."
Aaron Hull will be joined up front by junior DE DeVaughn Parson (6-2, 278) while the inside tackle positions will be filled by a combination of Stadler and Thompson and sophomore Mark Spence (6-0, 241).
Liberty's first three regular season games are against Class AAA opponents, which should provide the Eagles with an early indication of just how good they can be. They have the size and the talent for another undefeated season in AA Northwestern District.