STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – This time last year, Georgia Southern’s spring football scene looked vastly different. The stands were empty, the team only got a handful of practices in before the pandemic cut it short, and the players were unsure about what the future held.
One year later, the team took the field for its first spring scrimmage with a great deal more clarity on the 2021 campaign.
“We have to be grateful every time we take the field. The opportunity with our guys and the opportunity with our coaches,” head coach Chad Lunsford said. “You never know how long this stuff is going to last. With a pandemic, you never know how long that stuff is going to last. You have to be grateful and we are just very excited to do this.”
Inside the friendly confines of Paulson Stadium, the Georgia Southern offense racked up over 400 yards and scored four times, while the defense created two turnovers.
“Saturday is scrimmage day. We practice all week and today you just let it all loose,” lineman Dillon Springer said with a smile. “It definitely feels good to just go out there and hit someone.”
Quarterback James Graham notably did not suit up for Georgia Southern on Saturday. After practice, Lunsford told media the Georgia Tech transfer is dealing with ‘personal issues’. Lunsford declined to lay out a specific timetable on his potential return.
“Right now that’s just kind of up in the air. Not sure when he’ll return,” Lunsford added. “We have to do right by him and we have to make sure that we’re putting him in a good situation to be successful.”
Quarterback Justin Tomlin took reps with the first-team and, according to Lunsford, would be the starting quarterback if the season started today.
“Today, it felt good to be out here. Today was a good step for us coming to the end of camp,” Tomlin explained after practice. “I feel like the offense did pretty good, even though we were going against the ‘twos’, I feel like we had some good reps today.”
Georgia Southern is scheduled to play two more scrimmages, including the Spring Game to wrap up the spring season on April 24th.