Quarterback Quinten Dormady highlights offensive attack full of new talent
By almost any metric, the Central Michigan football team had a poor year on the offensive side of the ball in the 2018 season.
But this is 2019, and the Chippewas are eager to re-establish a potent offensive attack.
That begins with the arrival of Quinten Dormady.
A senior graduate transfer from Houston, Dormady appears to have won the job as starting quarterback. Although no official starter has been named, all indications state that the former Tennessee Volunteer and Wildcat will be under center when CMU begins the year against Albany on August 29.
“Quinten has done a really good job of leading the team, and I’m looking forward for him as we open up the season,” first-year coach Jim McElwain said.
Dormady has earned the respect of his teammates by committing wholeheartedly to the program from the moment he got to Mt. Pleasant.
“He’s very coachable, and when he came onto the team, he adjusted with us very well,” senior safety Da’Quaun Jamison said.
“He prepares like nobody I’ve ever seen,” senior center Steve Eipper added. “Quinten’s the first one in and the last one out, and he’s all for the guys.”
Eipper will serve as an anchor on the offensive line for Dormady and the Chippewas this season. The starting lineup is not yet in place, but Eipper is confident in the product his linemen will put forth each game.
“We have a great group of guys,” Eipper said. “We’ve got some experienced guys coming back and we’ve got some young guys looking to prove themselves. It’ll be fun to watch.”
The offensive line crew is tasked with springing CMU’s running backs for big gains this fall. According to Eipper, the combination of a dangerous passing game and a deep, talented group of backs will make for a more successful year in the trenches.
“We got a lot of guys that can do special things back there and make us look good as offensive linemen, and when (defenses) can’t load the box, we can open up holes and get some of our running backs out in space,” Eipper said.
Senior running back Jonathan Ward returns for his final season with the intent of tapping into the level of productivity he enjoyed in 2017 when he amassed close to 1,500 all-purpose yards as a sophomore. Meanwhile, junior Kumehnnu Gwilly, sophomore Kobe Lewis, and true freshman Lew Nichols will likely get a chance to prove themselves worthy of significant touches as well.
Despite the loss of senior wideout Brandon Childress to a career-ending knee injury, Dormady will also have a variety of weapons at his disposal in the receiving corps.
Junior JaCorey Sullivan will play a prominent role as a deep threat and newcomer Kalil Pimpleton, a sophomore transfer from Virginia Tech, will be an important asset in the slot.
Of all the position groups on the offensive end, the tight ends may well be the most dominant unit for the Chippewas in 2019.
After making the switch back to tight end from quarterback, junior Tony Poljan can utilize his athletic, six-foot-seven frame to haul in passes and keep defensive ends at bay. Additionally, sophomore Bernhard Raimann and redshirt freshman Joel Wilson are both viable options in two-TE sets.
“I’d put them up against anyone in the country,” McElwain said of his tight ends. “They’re talented, they’re well-coached, and they’re great kids.”
McElwain believes he has the pieces to construct an offense that puts fear in the hearts of the Chippewas’ opponents. All he has to do now is figure out how best to arrange his arsenal of talent and bring the offense out of the statistical cellar of the Mid-American Conference.
“We still have some discovery: Kalil hasn’t played in a year, Poljan being new at tight end, Jonathan Ward coming off a not-so-great year for him… there’s stuff that remains to be seen,” McElwain said.
A little over a month remains before CMU takes the field in a 7 p.m. home game against Albany at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. McElwain has some work cut out for him to get his team prepared for the 2019 regular season, but judging from his countdown to the opener, he’s up for the challenge.
“Thirty-seven days, man,” McElwain said with a joyous grin. “Thirty-seven days.”