Cyclones excited about 2018 passing game

Published 5:20 pm Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Elizabethton fans got a chance to get an early look at the 2018 Cyclones passing game.
The Cyclones hosted the Johnson County Longhorns and Trinity Christian to Citizens Bank Stadium for some 7-on-7 reps Monday.
Putting in some time at the quarterback position was Elizabethton’s Carter Everett, who will be entering his senior season. In 2017, Everett threw for 2,734 yards while connecting 218 out of 317 passes for a roughly 68 percent completion percentage. Everett also tossed for 33 touchdowns.
“He has fought through great adversity,” said Witten. “Collarbone injury and coming off a knee injury last year. He has worked himself into being fully cleared.
“He’s 6’5 with a big frame and long arms that can get the ball down the field,” Witten continued. “As coaches, we have to help him be his best. Just look at his numbers from last year, so we have to try and maximize our opportunities with him.”
Over the past few years, the Cyclones have had some major contributors come through their receiving ranks.
“We’ve got some weapons and some skill guys that across the board are pretty solid,” said Witten. “If you look at what we have lost over the past couple of years with guys like Jalen Smith, Conner Johnson, and Ryan Wetzel.
“Last year, Ryan set the school record with 81 catches and 21 touchdowns,” added Witten. “That is absurd numbers for around here.”
Witten, however, feels that the Cyclones will have plenty of good targets for Everett to work with in 2018.
Elizabethton’s Evan Perkins had a lot of catches during Monday’s exercises and is expected to play a key role in this season’s passing game.
“Evan Perkins has been great,” said Witten. “He had 30 something catches his sophomore year. Last year, he had 46 catches with 15 touchdowns. He has kind of waited his turn.”
Along with Perkins, other players expected to be in the mix will be Parker Huges, Drew Broome, Zach Hartley, Brayden Holly and Ty Smith. Witten is also expecting running backs, Corey Russell and Austin Outland, to make an impact on the Cyclones passing game.
“Across the board, we are probably deeper,” said Witten. “I like our running backs out the backfield too. They can catch and give us different looks.
“We have got some people that can get in there and give us some good work,” added Witten. “We feel like we are advanced at that skill position. So we feel like we can push the buttons a little bit and try and do more and not just be vanilla.”
The Cyclones open up the 2018 season with Science Hill at Citizens Bank Stadium.

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