A pair of players who saw limited playing time at Central Michigan have moved on for their senior seasons.
Running back Tim Phillips and safety Leron Eaddy, both of which graduated from Central Michigan in May, have transferred to Football Championship Subdivision Austin Peay for their final year of eligibility, the Clarksville (Tenn.) Leaf-Chronicle reported Thursday.
There’s a connection, too. Kirby Cannon served as the secondary coach under Dan Enos at CMU before he was named head coach at Austin Peay in March.
“(Leron) and Tim both, I think just wanted to be a bigger part of the whole program as a senior,” Austin Peay coach Kirby Cannon told The Leaf-Chronicle. “As a junior, hey, you do what you do, but when you get to be a senior, I think your vision of how you want it to end doesn’t mean sharing time with four other tailbacks.”
Phillips, hampered by his small frame — he’s listed at 5-foot-7, 174 pounds — was never able to materialize as an every-down back in the CMU offense. Recruited by Butch Jones in 2008 from Louisville, Ky., Phillips played in six games in 2009, his freshman season, before sitting out all of the 2010 season with an injury.
The 2011 season proved to be his best, rushing for 214 yards, good for fourth on the team, on 54 carries in seven games. But Phillips got lost in the shuffle last season behind a monster year from junior Zurlon Tipton (1,492 yards on 252 carries) and surprise performance of freshman Saylor Lavallii (263 yards on 57 carries), only carrying the ball five times in five games.
Tipton, Lavallii and freshman Anthony Garland, CMU’s top three rushers last season, all return this year for what Enos has deemed one of the best running back corps in the Mid-American Conference.
Eaddy, of Clarksville, Md., played in every game during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, but was primarily used on special teams and as a second-team defensive back. He recorded 12 tackles last season, and 16 tackles, along with an interception, in 2011.
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