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March 1, 2014

Tech football makes its return after first spring practice is officially in the books

 

By Dylan Vazzano, TTU Sports Information Coordinator

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech football team kicked off its spring practice schedule on Saturday, going through the first of 15 practice sessions amidst an overcast day at Tucker Stadium.

“This is what it’s all about, it’s fun to be out here again,” head coach Watson Brown said on opening up spring ball. “I think everybody was excited to get out here and I think all the players were excited to get away from coach [Casey] Kramer and that strength and conditioning center, and start playing a little football.”

The Golden Eagles participated in a number of drills throughout the afternoon, spending most of the time with their respective position coaches to develop each player’s understanding of the system and their skill sets. Before practice was over, the offensive and defensive units lined up against each other to help mimic game situations.

The first practice session was aimed to help address three key aspects throughout the spring, which according to Brown, are toughness, each player’s understanding of the system and skills, and team unity.

“We want to address toughness, we were a young team this past fall and we have to get tougher,” Brown claimed after the first spring practice was in the books. “Toughness will come as we go through spring practice.

“The second piece is finding the right guys to play and setting the systems around them. We want to find the best 22 we have and then the best 44 we have and go from there. The third thing to me is that we want to leave here with a little more team unity. I want our players to understand more of what we are doing philosophically and how we want them to perform on the field.”

The spring roster will feature two new names, with the addition of offensive junior Blake Luevano and freshman Johnathan Coleman. Luevano is a 6-foot-6, 300-pound offensive lineman from Citrus (Calif.) College, while Coleman is a 6-foot-2, 210-pound inside linebacker from Delray Beach, Fla. Both were included in the team's February signing class and are already enrolled at Tech and attending classes.

There will also be 13 players in action who sat out the 2013 season as redshirts, all looking to make an impression and solidify a spot on the preseason depth chart heading into fall camp.

“The players that redshirted last year, you could tell that they don’t know the stuff as well as the ones who were out here 12 times in the heat of battle last fall,” Brown said on some of the new faces out there, including at the quarterback position, which the Tech head coach addressed. “The quarterback battle is very important to us and that’s not going to be settled through tomorrow, but I would really like it to be done when spring practice is over. I saw some great things out of all of them but I saw some inconstancy with them all as well.”

The Golden Eagles will go through 15 spring practice sessions, weather permitting, with the team getting into Tucker Stadium Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons at 3 p.m. and Saturdays at 1:30 p.m.

NCAA Division I football programs are permitted to conduct 15 practices during the off-season. The 15 practices must be held during a period of 34-continuous calendar days. The first three practices of the spring are non-contact with players wearing helmets and shorts.

All practices are open to the public and the Golden Eagles encourage any and all fans to come out and get an early glimpse at the 2014 squad.