Around this time last year, we were talking about the Charlotte 49ers’ 2013 recruiting class. Now, with the inaugural season a few months in our rear view mirror, let’s take a look back at a few of the true freshmen that stood out for the Niners.
Kalif Phillips, RB
129 carries, 716 yards, 12 TDs
More often than not, while he didn’t always rack up yardage in bunches, you knew that #25 was going to give a 100% effort every time he hit the field. The team’s leading rusher definitely improved throughout the course of the season, setting himself up for a fine sophomore campaign. He especially shone against nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina (15 carries, 132 yards, TD).
Trent Bostick, WR
42 catches, 594 yards, four touchdowns
Bostick was the leading receiver in the opening day win against Campbell (four catches, 83 yards, TD), but there’s no doubt he’ll mainly be remembered for one particular moment against Gardner-Webb. With 3:15 left and the Niners trailing 45-40, Matt Johnson hit the Rockingham, NC native with a 43-yard strike to put Charlotte ahead 46-45, a lead they’d never give up en route to a stirring 53-51 comeback victory.
Blake Brewer, K
9-15 FG, 42-43 XP
While Brewer did have his struggles in his debut season, he should be set up for success come this fall with another year of training under his belt. He had his best game against Campbell, going 3-3 on field goals (35, 20, 40), while tacking on a season-long 43-yarder against Gardner-Webb.
Justin Bridges-Thompson, LB
22 tackles (three TFL), one sack, forced fumble
Bridges-Thompson put together a strong opening season on defense. But he also showed a little of what he could do as a kick returner, running back a Morehead State kick for 63 yards to set up a Kalif Phillips touchdown.
Devin Pearson, CB
48 tackles (1.5 TFL), one sack
Pearson played in nine games, but he was seventh on the team in tackles, including a season high eight against Wesley. If he’s 100% healthy for the entirety of 2014, there’s no reason to think that he won’t be near the top of the defensive list as a sophomore.