RANTOUL — One change implemented by Rantoul football coach Ira Jefferson will be evident as soon as the season starts.
The school’s first-year head coach — who was an assistant with the Eagles a year ago — is dropping the platoon system that had been in place.
“I told the kids, ‘Everyone learns two positions,’ ” Jefferson said.
He expects the Eagles to have several two-way players, including Charles Cargo, Javen Cobb, Isaac Espericueta, Davion Reeder, Tyrin White and Jayvone Williams.
Four starters return on offense, including quarterback Tim Morgan.
“I can teach them (new starters) the way I want them to be taught,” Jefferson said.
He sees progress.
“We’re coming along, slowly but surely,” Jefferson said. “We’re teaching the kids the game of football and to be competitive. We’re on the right track.”
He expects Cobb to be effective as the tailback. One veteran on the line is Treyshan Moore, who started every game in last year’s 1-8 season.
When Morgan takes to the air, he’ll have a variety of targets, including the 6-foot-5 White, Williams — a sophomore transfer from Urbana — and Cargo, who is projected as one of the area’s top defensive backs.
“We want to get the kids to take pride in Rantoul football,” Jefferson said. “The kids have a whole new attitude.”
The coach has one of the top freshman groups in the area, 35 in all. He doesn’t plan to promote them to the varsity.
“I don’t want to bring them up and ruin them,” he said. “I want them to stay together and grow together.”
Rantoul opens at home Friday against Charleston.