The Fordham University Rams football team is gearing up for the 2017 season, which will begin on September 1st as they plan to reclaim a Patriot League championship. The Rams have had quite the resurgence in recent years with five consecutive winning seasons.
It has been three years since Fordham was able to call themselves champions, a feeling they are striving to get back. Especially Head Coach Andrew Breiner and the captains Chase Edmonds, Kevin Anderson, Caleb Ham, and Manny Adeyeye.
“Win the Patriot league championship that’s our number one goal always will be and I believe that we have to take it one week at a time,” said running back Chase Edmonds.
Edmonds has been a stud in his first three years with the Rams finishing his freshmen season as the Patriot League and ECAC Rookie of the Year, while also receiving the Jerry Rice Award. In 2015 Edmonds was an All-American, Patriot League Offensive Player of the year, and was a consensus first team All-American in 2016.
So it comes as no surprise that Edmonds comes into this season on the Performer of the Year Trophy watch list along with Rams quarterback Kevin Anderson. “It’s humbling just like any other accolade, I’m really just blessed to be in this position that I’m in right now,” said Edmonds. “I just try to take it one day at a time, try and soak it all in and enjoy the moment with my brothers.”
But the accolades aren’t important to this Rams team they just want to improve on last year. They finished last season with an 8-3 record and come into this season ranked 22nd in the preseason NCAA FCS poll.
“I know me and Kevin felt disappointed last year in how we finished the season compared to how we started the season, we really thought we would do a lot better so it’s just more motivation for us to get the team right,” said Edmonds. “To us (last year) it was a letdown, we thought it was our year, we all had a lot more maturity, had a lot of guys coming back and we thought that would be our year but we fell short,” said QB Kevin Anderson.
Anderson and linebacker Manny Adeyeye are 5th-year seniors on this team or as Manny calls them the “old men ” of the team.
“It was an emotional decision to decide to come back because last year was my senior year and I broke my ankle right before our first game, and I came back with a few weeks left and dominated,” said Adeyeye. “So for me, it was like I owe it to my team to give them a full year, I owe it to myself and my coaches, this is my year of redemption and I want to do everything I can to make it perfect.”
The road to redemption for Adeyeye and this entire Rams team begins with Army Black Knights on September 1st. The Rams have only one win against Army but it came in their last meeting in 2015.
“You have to be exact when you play one of the academy’s, we are talking about going up against an opponent that their daily lives are the intangibles that we talk about attention to detail, discipline, toughness, and work ethic and that’s what our military and nation is built on,” said Head Coach Andrew Breiner.
They definitely have a tough task a head of them but with veteran guys like Adeyeye and Caleb Ham on the defense side of the ball, they will be prepared.
“The funny thing about the triple-option on defense is that schematically it is the simplest thing but game plan wise it is the hardest because you have to remain consistent throughout and at the same time all they need is about 3.5 yards every play,” said Adeyeye. “We have to make sure as position groups we come together and watch film together and take care of our bodies,” said Ham.
The Rams are a balanced team with great leaders on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Chase Edmonds and Kevin Anderson are primed for another great season, while Manny Adeyeye looks to continue his dominant play from last season. But more importantly, these Rams from coaches to players are dedicated to bringing that victory bell all the way to another Patriot League Championship.
“Our goal is to win the Patriot League and we did fall short of that last year,” said coach Breiner. “That’s our goal and I’m excited about it, the kids are excited about it and we are ready for the season to start.”