Spring Practice Report #6
STATESBORO, Ga. Starting the sixth day of spring practice, Georgia Southern head football coach Chris Hatcher decided to change his normal practice routine around some.
The Eagles split time during Thursday’s morning practice working on individual offense versus defense blocking drills before going into 11-on-11. That intense practice, in a much shorter time frame than normal, was exactly what Hatcher wanted to see so he decided to cut practice short.
“We had a good, intense practice which we needed. We got to get tough mentally and physically as a football team. Today I think we took a step in the right direction. However, we are not anywhere where we need to be. Tomorrow we’ll come out and get after it again. After that we pretty much ought to know what our team will half-way look like until we get all the new players come fall practice,” said Hatcher.
Working from various lines of scrimmage, the second-year head coach thought the offense and defense both shined at times.
“Both teams made good plays today. We started out having a real physical practice before the scrimmage. A lot of the guys were winded, so we cut it back a little bit. We found some things out about guys we didn’t know about today, good and bad,” admitted Hatcher. “We came out and got after it good today. We’ll be a little banged up but we will play some more tomorrow. We’ve got to find out who is going to fight for Georgia Southern and that is what today’s practice was about.”
Friday’s workout is the only practice session scheduled (other than the Blue-White game) for the afternoon. The coaching staff is also holding a Coaches’ Clinic starting Thursday night and going through Friday’s workout.
FORMER EAGLES WORK OUT FOR SCOUTS: Following Thursday’s practice some former Georgia Southern players worked out for professional scouts. In all, 11 different NFL teams sent representatives to campus. Some of the former Eagles working out included: Jayson Foster, Lamar Lewis, Brandon Jackson, Joey Tuttle, Charlie Giacomarro and Cory Clemons. Foster, the 2007 Walter Payton Award winner, also worked out catching punts.
DEFENSIVE SECONDARY A KEY TO SUCCESS: Georgia Southern returns several key contributors in the defensive secondary, an area late last year that was pieced together.
The Eagles lost three players off the 2007 season-opening depth chart. Henry Chubb had his career cut short due to an injury. Two more defensive backs were dismissed from the team. Carson Hill suffered a season-ending knee injury during the App State game. At the end of the season running back/wide receiver Chris Teal played defensive back and Lionel McGriff was another one-time offensive player turned d-back.
Senior Chris Covington made an immediate impact at safety after switching over from running back. He led the team with four interceptions, tying for 29th in the country. Covington also averaged a team-leading six tackles per game (67 total). His hard-hitting play earned him not only All-Southern Conference honors but Honorable Mention All-America status (The Sports Network) as well.
Juniors Hill, Chris Rogers, Ronnie Wiggins and Chris Collier return as well. Hill recorded 33 tackles in seven games and intercepted three passes. One of those picks came at Appalachian State when the junior cornerback intercepted Armanti Edwards and returned it for a touchdown on the third play from scrimmage. Rogers, like Covington, made the switch from offense. He recorded 37 tackles and recovered two fumbles, including one he returned for a touchdown against South Dakota State. Collier had seven tackles and one interception.
Wiggins has benefitted from staying at defensive back all spring. The one-time slotback, Wiggins went from the offense-defense-offense then back to defense last spring. He recorded a fumble recovery for a touchdown his freshman year against App State. Wiggins actually tied for fourth on the squad with 41 tackles last year.
Darrel Pasco joined the team at the semester break, transferring in from Georgia Military College. Hudson Presume, who redshirted last year, could also challenge for playing time. Both are vying for a starting role opened up when former All-SoCon cornerback Brandon Jackson decided to declare for the NFL.
According to Hatcher, “We took a big hit at defensive back. Brandon Jackson left to go to the NFL. This spring we are going to be really thin. Ronnie Wiggins and Carson Hill are both coming off surgeries so they’ll be limited, no contact. Darrel Pasco, a transfer from GMC, is someone we really feel like could be one of the best we got. Hudson Presume is going to be another corner challenging for timer. Chris Rogers and Chris Covington are key contributors returning. Again you got a bunch of guys no one has ever heard of that will have to go in there and provide us some depth for the spring.”
BLUE-WHITE GAME TO BE SPONSORED: This year’s annual Blue-White game will be presented by the Georgia Neighborhood Ford Dealers. The game is scheduled for Saturday, April 12th at Paulson Stadium. Play-by-play voice Chris Blair and color analyst Terry Harvin will broadcast the game on Eagle 102.9 FM and via the internet at www.GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com. The radio show will begin 30 minutes before the 1 p.m. kickoff. Check with the Athletics Department website for all the latest details.
SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE
(dates/times subject to change... all times at 8 a.m. unless otherwise noted)
Friday, March 28 (full, 3:30 p.m.)
Monday, March 31 (shells)
Tuesday, April 1 (full)
Thursday, April 3 (shells)
Friday, April 4 (full)
Tuesday, April 8 (full)
Thursday, April 10 (full)
Friday, April 11 (shorts)
Saturday, April 12: Blue-White game presented by the Georgia Neighborhood Ford Dealers (1 p.m.)
- Category: Football
- Published on Thursday, 27 March 2008 00:10