The Jacksonville State football team had to alter its first day of spring practice a bit on Monday, moving the workout up an hour to avoid a rainy morning in Jacksonville.
The four-time defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Gamecocks moved practice up to avoid the rain in the forecast, but head coach John Grass was pleased with what he saw in the short workout.
"You have to adapt and overcome," he said. "Sometimes schedules change. We got in this morning and rain started showing up, so we went ahead and got out early and sipped some meetings. We were able to get a good day in and didn't get wet, so it was good to get it in."
The Gamecocks have been working hard in the weight room during the offseason, but Grass and his staff were eager to get them on the field for the first time on Monday morning.
"It was just good to get back out on the field and see these guys running around," he added. "You can pound that weight room and work on speed, and up to this point we've had a really good offseason, but you love to get the headgear on and get back out on the field."
One of the things that Grass and his staff will use the spring practice period for is to see how guys respond to the practice setting after solid offseasons in the weight room and in conditioning workouts. He also wants to see the fundamental abilities for several spots on his roster.
"You want to get people in positions," Grass aid. "You want to see if they are able to play in space and how they are at blocking and tackling - big things before we get into Thursday's practice and get some pads on.
"Also, some of the guys have had really big offseasons, and you want to see how that carries over when we get into practice. We will get into our normal schedule on Tuesday and Thursday, so I'm ready get into our routine."
That routine will include early morning workouts on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays. JSU will practice for two weeks before taking off for Spring Break. JSU will then go three weeks after the break and culminate practice with the annual J-Day Spring Game on Thursday, April 12.
"I love how we do spring practice," Grass said. "We go a couple of weeks, and then we have spring break. Then we come back and have three weeks after the break, so it never gets monotonous. Our guys stay excited to go to practice and ready to go."
Courtesy: JSU Athletics / Sports Information (www.jsugamecocksports.com)