MONTGOMERY—Alabama State University's football team took their first break of preseason practice today after a solid week of hard work in extremely hot weather. Head coach Reggie Barlow has been surprised at how well the team has reacted to the hot weather.
"You can tell a lot of the guys did some running over the summer," Barlow said. "Most of the guys came into camp in shape for the most part and that has helped them make it through the workouts. There are some guys that are not in the shape they need to be in and they will have some catching up to do."
The coaching staff used the first week of practice to see how well the returning players retained what they had worked on and learned in the spring and of course, had to help the newcomers learn the offense and defense.
"We wanted to see how much the older guys had retained from the spring during the first week of work and a lot of them had retained a lot," Barlow said. "Now we want to see them play a lot faster during the second week instead of having to rely on thinking about what they need to do."
From day one, the coaching staff took notes on the players they believe will be able to help the team once the season begins, and there were a lot of players that made some positive impressions after a week of practice.
"We are actually having personnel meetings today on our off day to talk about a lot of the players that we may be counting on this year," Barlow said. "After the first week of practice we know we have identified a solid core of players that will help us this season. We have six solid receivers and three to four running backs, and that includes some freshmen, that look like they can step in and help us. We also feel we are as deep at tight end as we have since this coaching staff has been here the past four years and have some of those guys that can make plays for us."
The team will jump back into two-a-days Wednesday with the first practice at 9 a.m. and the evening practice beginning at 7 p.m. Due to some anticipated rough weather during the afternoon on Saturday, the scrimmage has been moved up to an 8 a.m. start time and will consist of around 50 plays.