SPARTANBURG, SC- East Tennessee State head coach Carl Torbush has attended the South Conference Media Day the last three years. On Wednesday, Torbush and ETSU entered media day for the first time as an official a member of the conference.
“This year’s for real,” said Torbush. “The opportunity to come here and be around all these great coaches in this league, to meet a lot of the players that you’re going to be playing against in a relaxed situation, to know that we’re getting ready to play this type of competition week after week, there’s a lot of exciting things going on right now.”
For the players, this off-season has felt much different than in 2015 with a new sense of excitement and a chance to play meaningful conference games this season.
“Feels more important because now we’re in a conference,” said ETSU running back Falon Lee. “Now we feel like we’re competing for something and our goal is to one day be in that SoCon championship with these guys, be able to compete with these guys every week.”
“You can feel the excitement around in the locker room and when we’re at workouts,” said ETSU linebacker Dylan Weigel. “Guys know what we’re going to be facing this year and that it’s real.”
The Bucs went 2-9 last season on their independent schedule. The team will need time to grow with such a young roster and fellow Southern Conference teams are excited to see that growth coming in the SoCon.
“Really good coaches, some really great people and they’re going to do it right,” said Wofford head coach and former ETSU coach Mike Ayers. “I see them being extremely competitive. Looking forward to playing against them.”
“Such a great rivalry with East Tennessee for so long,” said Chattanooga head coach Russ Huesman. “We’ve got teams that we don’t like or we’ve got teams that don’t like us. But to have that true rivalry back, we haven’t had that in the Southern Conference and now it’s back and I’ve already told coach Torbush I hate his guts. There’ll be a little bit of hatred in there and fun, but we’re thrilled to have them back in the league.”
ETSU will officially kick off fall camp on August 5th.