WIU football looks to fill key spots in spring - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

WIU football looks to fill key spots in spring


Spring has sprung in Macomb, for the Western Illinois football team, at least.

The Leathernecks are in the middle of their spring practices at Hanson Field under the direction of a new head coach for the second time in three years.

After spending two years as a Western assistant Jared Elliot takes over the reigns as the program leader.

Elliot inherits a team coming off it's third straight winning season, but a squad that has some sizable holes to fill before kickoff in the fall..

"To the outsider and on paper, we're going to have a lot of new names, and a lot of guys that haven't hit any of the statistical charts yet or any of those things," said Elliot.

"We've got a young football team really overall in a lot of positions that we have to identify and that is what spring practice is all about, first of all."

Even with a young team heading into spring practice, the Leathernecks do return some key pieces on both sides of the ball such as senior Quarterback Sean McGuire, senior running back Steve McShane and senior defensive back Xavier Rowe and linebacker Quentin Moon.

Elliot says it will be up to them to lead the way. 

"We'll rely on our key guys, our veteran leadership, the guys that have a lot of experience and starts under their belts," he said. 

"We're going to rely on those guys a lot, we're going to have to. Those guys have to understand, like the Sean McGuires, the Steve McShanes, Quentin Moon and Colin Saunders, they have to understand that they are continuing to step into a new role and a new leadership role on the football team." 

One of the key areas Elliot will need to fill holes at is on the offensive line. Western lost four of their five starters from last year's FCS Playoff team. 


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