DURHAM, N.C. — It's been a long time coming for North Carolina Central football. The pandemic wiped out the 2020 season, meaning the Eagles have not seen game action since November 23, 2019. 

"Being back with your guys who are really like family, so just being out here every single day enjoying every second of it," beamed Senior Running Back Isaiah Totten.

Head Coach Trei Oliver used their time off the field last fall to get everyone on the same page. He said his staff and the team's leadership committee helped develop the culture they've been striving for in his third year.

"A lot of that is just doing the right thing, doing what's asked of you when it's asked," Oliver said. "And I think our guys have really bought into it, and we have a great group of men."

There's competition for starting jobs all across the board. For example, Quarterback Davius Richard started 10 games under center in 2019. However, Oliver said that nothing is set in stone right now.

"The only person that's got a job right now is me. Everything else is up for grabs, but these guys got to compete every day," Oliver said.

NCCU opens their season on the road August 27 at Alcorn State.