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Old Gardner-Webb ties benefitting Bucs this spring

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – When a new head coach takes over a program, there’s lots of chatter about the roster – adjustments, chemistry and turnover.

No doubt, some of those topics have been talked about when it comes to Tre Lamb’s first season at ETSU.

There are plenty of new faces in Blue and Gold on the gridiron in 2024. But, the reality is, a chunk of the current roster already has experience playing with each other – and for Lamb – at Gardner-Webb.

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To be exact, 23 players on the spring roster are listed as Gardner-Webb transfers.

That previous chemistry they built with the Bulldogs last season – especially when it comes to guys like Jaylen King and AJ Johnson – was on full display Friday night. The two connected on the first drive of the Spring Game, and then later in the second quarter for a touchdown.

That chemistry give this Buccaneer group an advantage on offense headed into the summer months.

“He knows where he’s going to be,” Lamb said of King and Johnson’s connection. “He knows when it’s going to be a slant, he knows when it’s going to be a go. They’re just on the same page right now – we’ve got to make sure we keep working this summer on our route concepts.”

“It makes it real easy,” King said Friday night. “We know where each other is going to be. I know where they’re going to be, they know where I’m going to be at timing things. I know their timing.”

But, Johnson believes it’s not just his comfortability with King that’s showing through, but the whole camaraderie of the offense.

“Honestly, right now, we’re looking good on all sides of the ball,” he said. “I mean, the O-Line is doing their things, wide receivers doing their thing – especially quarterback. “They’re communicating well with us – running backs as well.”

“I feel like we’ve all got a great, great camaraderie going.”

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