Edison seniors excited about this football season

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The Edison High School football team has never finished a season undefeated.

Edison’s three senior captains, linemen Xavier Long, Keegan McGuire and Anthony Burke, plan on changing that in 2018.

The captains did not hesitate when asked what they expect to accomplish this year.

“Undefeated,” they all said at once during a summer practice on Aug. 14.

“Our team potential is out of this world,” Burke said.

“Most of us started last year as juniors, and we’ve been running this (spread) offense since eighth grade,” said Long. “We’ve really mastered it and have a lot of chemistry.”

“With our talent, speed, size and depth, I don’t think anyone can match it,” McGuire added.

The Eagles open 2018 at Monroe Township High School Sept. 7. They hope to end the year with a Central Jersey, Group 5 state sectional playoff championship. They also expect to win the Greater Middlesex Conference’s White Division.

Edison’s captains express this confidence about every part of their team, especially their unit– the offensive line.

“Everyone on our line put up big numbers in the offseason. Everyone here benched over 300 (pounds), squatted over 400 and cleaned over 225,” McGuire said. “But we got weapons all over the board. Our running backs, our receivers.”

“With the amount of strength we have, I think we have the best offensive line in the county,” Long said.  

“Our starting line lifts over 5,000 altogether,” added Burke.

They say a quarterback is only as good as his offensive line. With Edison, when you listen to the captains, it feels like the opposite. But they are just as confident in their quarterback, second-year starter Dean Escobar, as they are in themselves.  

“He’s coming off a starting season and is more experienced,” Long said. “If we give him time to make good reads, good decisions and to get his playmakers the ball, he’ll be good.”

“Dean is clutch. And he can throw 60 yards on a bad day. I expect him to do big things,” McGuire said. “He’s very good at staying calm. When things go crazy, Dean is the same Dean. He’ll make sure everybody stays in check.”

Long, McGuire and Burke also play on the defensive line, and Edison’s defense will be “even better (than the offense), if you ask me,” McGuire said, as his teammates laughed.

The captains mentioned two other defensive ends with great speed. Both clock in at less than 4.9 seconds in the 40-yard dash. They also said Edison’s whole secondary has Division 1 college football potential.

If you ask the Eagles, the Eagles are loaded. Coach Matt Fulham also sees potential.

“It’s a different story from last year. We have 23 seniors and a lot of them played the last year or two, so we have some experience and depth,” Fulham said. “The guys are excited and so is the coaching staff. I’m expecting big things.”  

But Fulham is a little more measured in his preseason evaluations. Edison did go only  3-7 in 2017.

“There’s depth in some spaces but not in others. Some of our younger guys need to develop,” Fulham said. “Plus we have a lot of competition at wide receiver and are still not settled on one running back.”

“We’re going to see,” Fulham added. “We’re going to take it one game at a time. Right now we’re just focused on Monroe.”