Fleming envisions 'very big year' for URI football

The University of Rhode Island football team holds a scrimmage, Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (WJAR)

A new season brings new hopes and aspirations in Kingston for this University of Rhode Island team that has struggled in recent years.

"As we transition into game week the expectation will be of tremendous excitement, and I am very excited to see what we got. It's kind of like waiting for Christmas to see what we get," said head coach Jim Fleming.

"Things take time to get the culture where you wanted to be. I think this is a very big year for us and the University of Rhode Island football program. I am very hopeful and excited that we are going to put a product out there they can go ahead and bring new support, new interest," said Fleming.

Fleming enters his fourth year as head coach at URI. After recording just four wins in his first three seasons in charge, coach is trusting the process as he tries to turn around this program..

"Personally, I know for a fact that I want to change things. I can't always lose every season. We have to do everything we can and work as a team," said Momodou Mbye.

As always the URI Rams are trying to keep their homegrown talent in the Ocean State. This year is no different with 12 local players, including a couple of stars you may remember from Friday Night Lights: Mbye from Shea High School and Marven Beauvais from Cranston High School East.

"No matter where are you from, no matter how big you are, all that matters is your heart and how you love the game and you are going to put your best foot forward. I feel as though Rhode Island has a lot of players that can come up and play," said Beauvais, a wide receiver.

"We've offered every offerable player in this state. Some have chosen to stay with us and some have chosen to go elsewhere. I think that it's very important that when we have homegrown talent that they give the University of Rhode Island the first look," said Fleming.

URI will open it's season Aug. 31 at Central Michigan. The Rams will host their home opener on Sept. 9 with Stony Brook in town.

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