The Willie Fritz era beginning on the field Tuesday afternoon on the banks of Eagle Creek. Georgia Southern's football team practicing for more than two hours in a very upbeat... highly intense practice.
CLICK ON THE VIDEO LINK TO HEAR FROM HEAD COACH WILLIE FRITZ AND EAGLES' TIGHT END NARDO GOVAN.
SCHEDULE FOR REMAINDER OF CAMP: Thursday, March 27, 4:15 p.m. Friday, March 28, 4:45 p.m. Saturday, March 29, 9:30 a.m. Sunday, March 30, 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, April 1, 4:15 p.m. Thursday, April 3, 4:15 p.m. Friday, April 4, 4:45 p.m. Saturday, April 5, 9:30 a.m. – Paulson Stadium Tuesday, April 8, 4:15 p.m. Thursday, April 10, 4:15 p.m. Friday, April 11, 4:45 p.m.
Saturday, April 12, 12 p.m. Blue-White Spring Game --Paulson Stadium
Tuesday, April 15, 4:15 p.m. Thursday, April 17, TBA – Paulson Stadium
RELEASE FROM GEORGIA SOUTHERN SPORTS INFORMATION:
Georgia Southern Completes Up-Tempo
Practice on First Day
Eagles go back to the basics at beginning of spring practice
STATESBORO, Ga. – A new era began for Georgia Southern last March
when the University accepted the Sun Belt Conference's invitation to join the
league and move to the Football Bowl Subdivision. Another new era began in
January when Coach Willie Fritz was named the Football program's ninth head
coach. One thing remained consistent to the foundation set by Coach Erk Russell
as the Eagles had their first practice on the banks of "Beautiful Eagle Creek"
Twenty-four periods were on the
Eagles' practice plan with a late afternoon full of individual and team drills,
beginning with a focus period, stretching and special teams. Practice ended
with Coach Fritz addressing his team, congratulating them on a good first day
and letting them know that he expects even better when they are back on the
practice fields Thursday.
"I was very excited about it (the
first practice)," said Head Coach Willie Fritz. "I thought the kids did a very
good job of adapting and learning what we are trying to do as far as practice
is concerned. For the most part, I thought it went pretty well. It was still a
first-day practice, but it was good, we learned quite a bit today."
Georgia Southern's first practice polished off some of the rust four months
after the season-ending victory against Florida in "The Swamp." Coach Fritz and
his staff have introduced new terminology with the spread option offense and
plan on installing as much as 70 to 80 percent of the package by the end of
spring ball. For today, however, it was first things first – evaluating players
on the field and their effort.
"We have to go in, look at the tape and look at it and see who is doing things
right and wrong," Fritz said. "The main thing we're looking for is effort.
These kids are very coachable, they do a good job of learning and they love
football and for the most part I thought they did a very good job of doing what
they were instructed to do."
TO SAY THE LEAST In 2013, Georgia Southern led the nation in yards per completion with 19.26
yards per catch, but on only 102 attempts and 52 completions. In two games,
Chattanooga and Florida, the Eagles did not complete a single pass, but won
both games. In comparison, Sam Houston State completed 179 passes last season
for 2,598 yards, or 185.6 yards per game.
Fritz estimated the 2014 Eagles would
throw 15-25 passes per game and was impressed with sophomore Kevin Ellison and
redshirt freshman L.A. Ramsby. Five quarterbacks, Ellison, Ramsby, sophomore
Vegas Harley, sophomore Favian Upshaw and redshirt freshman Jake Clemens were
dressed in red jerseys and worked with Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks
Coach Doug Ruse.
"Kevin threw the really ball well today, that was kind of the unknown because
he didn't throw the ball a whole lot last season," said Coach Fritz. "I thought
he threw the ball extremely well and I was really impressed. He (Kevin) manages
the game well, he has a lot of charisma when he gets out there and is at the
line of scrimmage. I thought the same thing with L.A., I was impressed with him
as well, you can tell that he has played a lot of football, and was in a very
good program, a state champs in Ohio. For a guy missing basically all last fall
because of injury, I thought he did an excellent job today as well."
START OF THE JOURNEY Georgia Southern players crossed over the bridge over Eagle Creek with
several coming from the Parrish Football Center in position and class groups.
Like the Eagles, Coach Fritz hit the ground on the north side of the bridge
running to the field.
"There are so many great traditions
here, that being one of them, going over the bridge and running onto the
field," Fritz said. "There is so much history here and it's exciting to me to
embrace all of it."
FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE FOR FREEDOM Georgia Southern
University's live mascot Freedom and Director of the Center for Wildlife
Education Steve Hein paid a visit to the first spring practice. Freedom, who
flies from the top of the Paulson Stadium to Glenn Bryant Field before games,
spent some time on the sidelines and posing for photos. Freedom had his first
day of his "preseason" training at Paulson on Monday.