MT. PLEASANT – With the start of the college football season just a few months away, Central Michigan will look to build off last year’s success as the team gets summer practices underway.
The Chippewas finished the 2021 season 9-4, capping it off with a 24-21 win over Washington State in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.
CMU will have to replace a number of key standout players, many of received opportunities to play in the NFL.
Among them are offensive tackles Luke Goedke (57th pick, Buccaneers) and Bernhard Raimann (77th pick, Colts), wide receiver/punt returner Kalil Pimpleton (undrafted free agent, Lions), wide receiver JaCorey Sullivan, safety Gage Kreski (invited to Giants rookie camp), defensive end Troy Hairston II (undrafted free agent, Texans) and defensive back Dishon McNary (undrafted free agent, Bears).
A solid core of players return next season, including quarterback Daniel Richardson, running back Lew Nichols III, center Jamezz Kimbrough, Petoskey alum and tight end Joel Wilson, linebacker Kyle Moretti and lineman Thomas Incoom.
Now in his fourth season as head coach of the Chippewas, Jim McElwain is excited for the future of the program and is proud of his former players who made it to the next level.
“The enthusiasm, the excitement carried over through spring. We’ve got a lot of guys to replace and a lot of a lot of holes to fill. And yet, you know what, it’s an opportunity for a lot of guys to step up and play. We’re excited to get going this summer. You know, it’s a credit to the work that they put in and also to credit to our university. You know, our place has done a great job helping these guys and it’s great to see them get the opportunity to live out a dream,” said McElwain.
Central Michigan is set to open the 2022 season at Oklahoma State on Thursday, Sept. 1. The Chippewas and then No. 22 Cowboys met last in 2016, which ended in a spectacular last-second, ‘Hail Mary’ 30-27 victory over Oklahoma State.
CMU will return to Mt. Pleasant for the home opener at Kelly/Shorts Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10 against South Alabama.