Weather Forces Gamecocks Indoors Before First Day In Full Pads

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Jacksonville, Ala. – Weather moved the Jacksonville State football team indoors on Thursday afternoon but head coach Jack Crowe used the altered practice plan to prepare for a big day coming on Friday, when the Gamecocks will don full pads for the first time.

The JSU campus saw scattered thunderstorms throughout the afternoon on the fourth day of the Gamecocks’ preseason, and the lightning in those storms forced the 12th-year head coach to move workouts inside. Crowe and his staff decided to take the altered schedule and use it to their advantage with the team’s first day of full contact on the horizon.

“We had a day today where we saw a lot of lightning potential, which we have a protocol for, and we decided to move it all inside,” Crowe said. “It really can serve a purpose, and we are trying to look at it that way. We have some young guys and are just trying to get reps. Moving inside slowed the tempo down a little bit. Maybe a little more conversation between plays, combined with the slower pace, is something that can reinforce the development of those young guys.

“We follow it up tomorrow in full pads. Maybe today will get a little juice back in them, because we didn’t have the sun and didn’t have any kind of all-out movement today. We’ll see if it will make it a better day tomorrow.”

Friday will give Crowe his first look at several players going in contact drills, and he is confident that will be the beginning of several players making their moves on the depth chart, both forward and backward.

“We are so young,” he added. “You can talk about 40 speeds, what you did in high school and a lot of things, but football is blocking and tackling and you have 70 guys here that haven’t done much of it at the college level, some none at the college level. With tomorrow being the first day in full pads, particularly with the linemen, where every play is a contact play, there will be some separation created tomorrow.”

Weather permitting, the Gamecocks will work on their practice fields in full pads on Friday afternoon, and Crowe is anxious to see how his roster that features 35 freshmen and 21 sophomores responds.

“There will be some guys that will thrive in it, some guys that will have to learn from it and there may be some guys that step back from it a little bit. From there, we will go to the next one and take whatever comes out it and get better and better, but it truly will be the beginning place.”

JSU will work in pads for two days before an off day Sunday to prepare for its first Two-A-Day practice on Monday.

Courtesy JSU Media Relations