NEWBERRY, S.C. – Coach Zak Willis and his staff have completed the first week of practice and two-a-day practices finally started Thursday on the campus of Newberry College to prepare for the 2003 season.
Coach Willis said to this point the attitudes have been outstanding.
“Fundamentally, we are not a very good football team,” said Willis, “but we are continuing to improve. We are constantly evaluating where the guys are and getting them in shape as we go.”
Coach Willis pointed out that the revamped defense played extremely well this morning. He singled out Rondero Robinson on the front line for his efforts at one defensive tackle.
Offensively, Coach Willis mentioned some positives, but noted that he had concerns on the offensive line. He said the coaches are playing “musical chairs” up front to try and find the best combinations to allow the team to protect the quarterback and run the football. He noted the efforts of freshman center Matt Baxley and freshman tight end Grant Lockridge as two young men who improved their stock with great effort in the morning session, the first in full pads of the fall practice.
Wide receivers Tymere Zimmerman and Derrick Higgins continue to show why they were heavily recruited out of high school. Both have been very impressive today in the afternoon session of practice, with each making long catches today.
Coach Willis noted that the fight for the starting quarterback position “ought to be an interesting one to watch.”
The Indians continue practicing for the regular season, which begins on Saturday, September 6 on the road for the first-ever game at Coastal Carolina. The already-sold out contest will be produced by the Football Network for airing on live television in South Carolina on that evening. The contest, at the newly named 6,408-seat Brooks Stadium, will begin at 7 p.m.