Tuesday was the first practice of spring camp and afterwards, head coach Chris Ash met with the media to talk about the team. Here are some highlights of what he said:
- The first practice was much cleaner in year three than the previous years. Veterans “were sharp”.
- Ten newcomers practiced and “some stood out and showed promise”. That is great to hear and gives hope that players from that group can contribute next season.
- Bless Austin and Elijah Barnwell are being held out of spring camp as they continue to recover from injuries suffered last season.
- The wide receiver position group is an “area of concern with development”, but Ash is “happy with how they’ve worked in offseason and pleased so far”.
- The transition with the new staff has been “very smooth” and Ash likes the chemistry with staff.
- Ash said there were “similar concepts on offense” this year compared to last, in answering a question about the challenge for Gio Rescigno working with a new offensive coordinator again.
- All the QB’s got reps in the first practice. There is no #1 or #2 within the group and that will remain the same for a few practices. Ash spoke about what he looks for in a quarterback and that the position is much further ahead with depth compared to last spring.
- Ash did give indication that the goal is towards filling out depth chart by the end of the spring camp.
- Overall, Ash said he felt that the team was “right on course entering year 3” and where he wanted the program to be at this point. With 17 starters back, he made it clear the hope is to get to a bowl game. He did say “a lot has to happen”, but that this team is on pace to do that.
Ash discussed these topics in more detail and covered other areas as well. Watch his full press conference here: