In Malcolm Eugene and Adrian Coxson, football head coach Chuck Priore has found potentially one of the best wide receiver duos in the CAA. And perhaps just as importantly, he has found two players who seem to have fully bought into his team-first attitude.
“We’re all playing as family,” Eugene said. “We’re all playing as brothers. I think that that’s what will get us over the top.”
Both Eugene and Coxson have come up large for their “family” so far this season.
Eugene has had 25 catches through his first three games for 362 yards and three touchdowns. Coxson, despite missing the team’s third game against Villanova due to injury, still has 10 catches for 143 yards with a touchdown.
“They’re both talented players,” said head coach Chuck Priore. “They’re athletic, and big receivers that can create some matchup problems.”
At 6 feet 4 inches Eugene is the tallest wide receiver on Stony Brook’s roster. But, according to the senior wideout, it is not just his size alone that allows him to succeed on the field.
“I would say my physicality and football IQ (are my best assets),” Eugene said. “Just knowing what I’m doing, knowing what the defense is giving me. That allows me to be a smart football player, and use my size to my advantage.”
Coxson, who is in his junior year, also brings size at 6 feet 1
inch and 210 pounds.
But, he feels that most of his on field success comes as a result of what he is able to do with his legs.
“My speed and my routes, they help me a lot,” Coxson said, “It gives me a chance to pull away from different types of DBs.”
Coming into Saturday’s game, Stony Brook’s record sat at 1-2, and the school was coming off an
ugly 35-6 loss to Villanova.
And despite coming off two outstanding personal games, Eugene is still looking to
“Numbers wise I had two good
games, but we didn’t get a win,” said Eugene. “I made mistakes, and there are things that I want to get better on.”
Coxson has similar feelings on the matter, saying that he expects
more out of himself and his teammates.
“We need to get better each and every week,” said Coxson. “We should never be satisfied. I’m never satisfied.”
The news that star senior running back Marcus Coker will miss the remainder of the season with an abdominal injury has created some doubt about whether the Seawolves will be able to turn things around.
Coach Priore says that the play of Eugene and Coxson will be more critical in his absence.
“You want your players that can convert plays into big plays to be successful,” Coach Priore said, “Certainly those are two of the guys that can.”
In the team’s first game without Coker in Villanova, Eugene did everything in his power to make sure the offense did not miss a beat.
He pulled in career-high 12 receptions for a career-high 184 yards against the Wildcats.
This performance came after Eugene had another career day the week before against Buffalo, when he had 10 catches for 122 yards, and two touchdowns.
“It’s been real humbling,” Eugene said. “Just going from not being at Temple, to not seeing the field. Just having the opportunity to showcase my talent, is making my want to work harder.”
Eugene grew up not too far from Stony Brook University, over in Huntington.
It was at the age of sixthat he first started playing football.
And it was the physicality of
the game that initially drew him to the sport.
“The hitting, definitely the hitting (attracted me to the game),” said Eugene.
“The Giants were my favorite team. I liked their physical brand of football.”
He then went on to play high school football at John Glenn, where he was named to the All- State and All-County teams in his senior year.
But, Eugene says it was not until he played at ASA Junior College in Brooklyn that he was ready to take his game to the next level.
“That’s when I realized that there’s a lot of good athletes out there, and that hard work pays off,” he said.
Coxson also began playing football at the age of six.
He initially began playing with the other kids in his neighborhood. Soon after, his mother signed him up to play organized football.
While playing high school in Baltimore, Md., Coxson really began to found success.
He was a four-star prospect, who was rated the #19 receiver in the nation according to Scout. com.
He was also ranked as ESPNU’s #16 receiver during his senior year of high school.
After high school he would briefly play at Maryland, but did not receive the playing time he was hoping for.
Then, in 2012 the Stony Brook coaching staff was able to convince him to join the Seawolves.
“I really like the offense, the coaches, the fact that it’s a family oriented team,” Coxson said.
Last season he showed flashes of the talent he displayed in high school.
He had 10 catches for 127 yards, and a touchdown, and appeared in all 13 games.
This season both players will look to continue to take their games to the next level.
And according to coach Priore, their work ethic on and off the field may help them to do that.
“They work hard, and they do their school work, which is important to me,” coach Priore said. “They’re good citizens off the field, and they show up everyday and work hard on the field.”
The two men have not only been taking on big roles in the team’s offensive scheme this year, but have also been looked toward for leadership.
And both players seem to recognize the importance of that
“Its very important for me and
Eugene to be leaders, because we’re the two main receivers on the field, and we have guys behind us that look up to us,” Coxson said.
As for after college, the two players plan on trying to make it in the NFL.
But, rather than putting up big flashy numbers for NFL scouts, the two players seem more focused on the team’s success.
“I’m worried about getting wins and bringing a championship to Stony Brook,” said Eugene.
Both players also said they feel the team has the talent to succeed, and just needs to continue to work harder.
“We just need to come together better as a team,” said Coxson, “It’s about us knowing our strengths, knowing what we can do.
And just playing our heart out.”