New vibe for Charleston Southern

Jim Killian/Provided Charleston Southern sophomore running back Ben Robinson looks for room during Saturday morningþÄôs scrimmage.

In college football, one thing is certain. When a college football team holds its preseason media day, complete with player interviews and pictures, the start of the season is just around the corner.

The Charleston Southern football program held its annual media day on Saturday, just a few hours after its second scrimmage of the preseason. The Buccaneers open the season on Thursday night, Aug. 28, hosting Point University in the school's first-ever home night game.

The addition of lights at CSU stadium has been the hottest topic surrounding the upcoming football season. The Buccaneers will open the season with four home games, all at night, before closing out the season with six road games in their final eight.

Senior safety Demaris Freeman, the team's top tackler a year ago, has lived through an 0-11 season and enjoyed the success of last year's 10-3 campaign. He says the excitement surrounding the football season is something brand new at CSU.

"The whole vibe, it's a total change around here," said Freeman. "This chemistry on this team is really strong and we are truly looking forward to the season. We have a lot of work to do and we know nothing is easy, but we all have a lot more confidence.

"I've seen a lot of bad since I've been here and last year was something really special for us. But we are focused on bigger and better things this season. We feel like the potential is there for us to do great things."

Head coach Jamey Chadwell is thankful that his team will have nearly two weeks to prepare for the start of the season. After two preseason scrimmages, the coach sees improvement but wants more.

"For us, the coaches, we have a greater understanding of who can play and where they fit best," said Chadwell, who led CSU to a program best 10 wins in his first season. "We know our team a lot better and that's the biggest difference between now and a year ago.

"We have made steady progress throughout camp. We've lost some guys to injuries, some key people, but everyone has injuries. We just have to find out which of these younger guys is ready to step up. I thought today's scrimmage showed us some good things but it also showed that we're not ready to play a real game yet."

CSU's top receiver, senior Kevin Glears, suffered what could be a season-ending injury during the scrimmage. The Bucs will begin the season with their top four returning receivers on the shelf.

Nonetheless, Chadwell is optimistic and feels the positive energy around campus.

"I think the kids are excited about representing the school and playing football again," said the coach. "There's a nice spirit regarding football around here, on our campus, and it's exciting that it's almost here."