November 21, 2019

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LIVE OAK PRESEASON PREVIEW

Live Oak Football will be fun to watch this season, after posting a regular season record of 5-5 last season and having a first round exit in the playoffs look for the Eagles to bounce back this season. The Eagles have a revamped offense and with key players returning on the defense, there will be some noise in Watson, Louisiana.

Up front defensively, the Eagles have a disruptive force in recent LSU commit, Jalen Lee. The 6’4 295 pound nose guard has not only the ability a run stopper, but a pass rusher as well. Coach Brett Beard says of Lee “I’m excited to see him anchoring our defense right there in the middle at nose guard, a lot of times if you have a guy like that disrupt offensive timing, whether it is in the pass or the run, and a guy that is in the backfield all day every day. It makes it a lot of fun to build around that. I expect nothing but the best from him.”

Lee looks to be a cornerstone of the Live Oak 3-4 defense, where the defensive line is responsible for creating pressure after the snap. Be that on the quarterback forcing an incomplete pass or throwing into coverage, or the ball carrier and forcing a tackle for a loss. “We want to be as strong as possible right up the gut, and be able to stop the run.” Coach Beard says about his 3-4 defense. Senior linebackers Gabe Kimble and Bret McCoy will be the second wave for the Eagles defense and as Coach Beard puts it “are two big hammers.” Senior safety Colin Dickerson is a guy that is stepping into the role after waiting his turn and now has a chance to prove himself. Coach Beard believes that sophomore safety Aiden Saunders could be the next special athlete to come out of Live Oak. “He is a kid that is gifted with a lot of ability. He can run, has a great knack for the football, and he’s still pretty much still a pup in this whole game. He has a real knack for really every part of the game.”

On the offensive side of the ball, KeIrrian (Kee) Hawkins, who was a bruiser at fullback for the Eagles last season, will now be seeing a few more snaps at running back given the new offensive scheme. “With the skill set of Kee we don’t want people getting on a track and just coming down hill and teeing off on him, we want to get people running sideline to sideline and let him (Kee) go get them. Because you won’t really be able to key on him.” says Coach Beard about Kee Hawkins moving to running back. Senior quarterback Rhett Rosevear will be someone to watch, “he is a threat to go with Kee in the backfield” mentions Coach Beard. Senior fullback Hagen Long is described as a “hammer coming out of the backfield.”

The offensive line for Live Oak could be the question mark though. As they have one of the most dominant defensive lineman in the country, the No. 31 defensive tackle for the 2020 recruiting class. “We’re really good up front defensively, so some times when you’re really good upfront you have to make sure your O-line isn’t being demoralized day in and day out, and that they embrace the challenge. Because when you go against Jalen Lee, and Tyler Braun, and Kyle Kitto day in and day out, you have to embrace it that Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday is going to be hell, but Friday you get a little reprieve.” says Beard

It will be interesting to see come game time, practicing against Lee, Braun, and Kitto will have an effect on this Eagles squad. There is an old saying “Iron sharpens iron” with the defensive front Live Oak has, it should be fun to watch this offensive line work as well.