OVC champion Golden Eagle football team begins spring practices

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Anxious to get a jump on defending their 2011 Ohio Valley Conference championship, the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagle football team begins work toward the 2012 season Tuesday afternoon with the start of spring drills.

The practice season concludes with the annual spring game played on Saturday, April 21 at Tucker Stadium.

“Our goals in spring drills are always the same,” said Watson Brown, the 2011 OVC Coach of the Year. “We want to get everybody into the right places in the depth chart so that we can play 70 players each game; we want to keep improving our understanding of our offense and defense; and we lost several seniors, so we’re looking for younger players who are ready to step up.”

A handful of players will miss spring drills because of injuries or surgeries, while a few other players will make moves to new positions.

Among the moves on offense, Wesley Sherrill will move inside from offensive tackle to guard, while Tremaine Hudson and Stephen Bush will work at both runningback positions (A and B backs). Cody Matthews will move to an inside receiver spot from outside receiver, and Doug Page will go from runningback to the H-back position.

On defense, the only position change heading into spring drills will find Zach Salada moving from runningback to outside linebacker, but the sophomore is one of the players who will not be on the field due to his ongoing recovery from an injury.

Also out for the spring will be Zack Ziegler, Slade Adams, Cody Forbes and Will Johnson. Three players - Nick White, Jerry King and DeJuan Brown - will participate but without pads as they also return from injuries.

All weekday practices are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. while Saturday practices will be held in the morning beginning at 11 a.m. The team will hold scrimmages on Saturday, March 31 and Saturday, April 14, prior to the final scrimmage.

Tech will practice on Tuesday (20th), Thursday (22nd), Friday (23rd) and Saturday (24th) during the first week.  Workouts will be in shorts without pads the first two days, moving to full pads on Friday.

The second week features workouts Tuesday (27th), Thursday (29th) and the scrimmage Saturday (31st). Tech will only have two practices during Easter week, with work scheduled for Tuesday (3rd) and Thursday (5th).

It’s back to three practices for the two weeks after Easter with practices on Tuesday (10th  and 17th), Thursday (12th  and 19th) and scrimmages on both Saturdays (14th and 21st).

The Golden Eagles are coming off a championship season as Tech captured a share of its 10th Ohio Valley Conference title in 2011. Tech received the league’s automatic bid and advanced to the 2011 NCAA FCS playoffs for the first time in school history.

Fans can reserve 2012 season tickets by contacting the TTU Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center by calling 931-372-3940.