The Jacksonville State football team put on full pads for the first time on Monday and head coach John Grass continued to be impressed by what he sees from his Gamecocks.
The two-time defending Ohio Valley Conference champions adjusted their schedule because of forecasted rain in the afternoon and worked for about two hours in cooler temperatures on Monday morning.
"We got a little break from the weather this morning," Grass said after the workout. "It was a little overcast, so that was really a good thing. We chose to practice this morning because we may have some rain this afternoon and tonight. We wanted to make sure we got our practice in. We have our first two-a-day tomorrow, so we're excited about that. We see this team progressing and we're checking boxes. We're making sure we're where we need to be, and we are very pleased with what we are seeing."
The Gamecocks will be allowed to practice twice on Tuesday for the first time and will use a morning practice in shells and a night practice in full pads to avoid the afternoon heat. With the first day in full pads in the books and the first two-a-day scheduled for Tuesday, all of the firsts on the calendar are out of the way. Grass isn't concerned about his guys staying focused during the repetitive days that fall camp brings.
"Our guys are really good about just going to work," he said. "There aren't a lot of bells and whistles at this point. Football is not like that. Our guys do a really good job of keeping an even-keel mentality through practice. We don't get too high or get too low. They do their work, and I think that is why they enjoy coming to practice. They enjoy being around one another and enjoy what we do. They get a lot out of it and get a lot of enjoyment out of it."
Tough the weather and the gear was a little different on Monday, Grass saw the same from his team on the field as he has in the previous four days of camp.
"I saw a lot of good things today," he added. "Full pads aren't a lot different than shells for us. We just add knee pads, but we were physical again today. We're just trying to build that callus up and get better. I see a lot of competition all over the field. We're trying to get guys to battle to get on the field. I see a lot of depth, and I am very pleased with our first day in pads."
Courtesy: JSU Sports Information (www.jsugamecocksports.com)