Spring Football #3
STATESBORO, Ga. The weather warmed up during Georgia Southern Football’s third spring practice session on Thursday morning (March 5). It marked the third of four straight practice days this week.
Thursday also marked the first day in shoulder pads for the Eagles. According to head coach Chris Hatcher his team lacked the intensity he wanted to see.
“It was just a very average day, we didn’t have the intensity we need. Tomorrow we’ll be in full pads and scrimmage for the first time. We just got to get a little more aggressive in everything we do,” said Hatcher.
Hatcher noted every position needs to make improvements.
“As young and inexperienced as we are, even with the guys that played last year it was their first go-around. We have got to get better at every position, there’s just really not one we’re harping on. We have got a long ways to be where need to be come fall,” said the third year head coach.
Friday is the first scheduled day of full pads.
Of the 47 returning letterwinners, only 22 are upperclassmen (15 seniors/7 juniors). The defensive secondary returns two of those seniors in starters Carson Hill and Ronnie Wiggins.
Wiggins began his career on offense before moving to the secondary. He made 39 tackles on the year and led the team making three interceptions in nine games played. According to him the time has passed by. He and his teammates are ready to challenge for another championship.
“It just seems like yesterday I was walking up here to play scout O’ my freshman year. The expectations for our defense this year are very high. Last year was decent but a lot of the big plays came out of busted coverages. Since we have a lot of returners we expect people to know the game book better,” said Wiggins. “Team wise I think we are going to be great. It seemed like last year most of our losses came from the little things. We had a lot of freshmen, but now they have a year experience under their belts.”
Wiggins is hoping to pass along some of the lessons he learned through the years.
“Being a senior I think back to my freshman year when I needed that guidance from older players, so I try to give that to these freshmen. I know coming to college... it’s a lot of the mental part of football people don’t get. I try to help the freshmen understand that,” said Wiggins. “Most guys are already talented if they have made it this far. So I try to help them along those lines.”
Hill is another player that is an All-Conference and All-America candidate. During his sophomore year he made three interceptions and 33 tackles in seven games. Last year he made 43 stops and broke up 10 passes. Hill not only has high expectations for himself, but for the squad as well.
“My only expectation is to get a ring. I’m not talking about a SoCon ring, but a National Championship. I’ve had mediocre seasons every year I’ve been here (no playoff appearances since 2005). Coming from a high school like Baldwin County we were always winning. I’m not used to losing games but we are going to pick it up this season,” said Hill.
Letterwinners returning: Carson Hill (Sr), Darrel Pasco (Sr), Ronnie Wiggins (Sr), Lee Banks (Jr), Evan Mattingly (Jr), E.J. Webb (Jr), Derek Heyden (Soph), Brett Layson (Soph), A.J. McCray (Soph), K.R. Snipes (Soph).
Letterwinners lost: Chris Rogers (offense), Brandon Echols.
2009 Spring Practice Schedule
Friday, March 6
Monday, March 9
Tuesday, March 10
Thursday, March 12
Friday, March 13
Tuesday, March 24
Thursday, March 26
Friday, March 27
Tuesday, March 31
Thursday, April 2
Friday, April 3
Saturday, April 4 Annual Blue-White Game, 1 p.m.
- Category: Football
- Published on Thursday, 05 March 2009 00:01