Spring Practice at The Citadel
By Matthew Osborne
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Photos, Videos and observations from Spring Practice at The Citadel.
Coming off of a disappointing 2011 season, Coach Kevin Higgins and The Citadel Bulldogs are hoping for a bounce back season in 2012.
The Citadel’s first opportunity to make strides in the right direction is already upon them, as the Bulldogs started spring practice this past Thursday. Following two days of practice in just helmets, the Bulldogs took the field bright and early on Saturday morning for their first full-contact practice of the calendar year.
Southern Pigskin’s J.T. Bennett and Matt Osborne were on location for the Bulldog’s first full-contact practice yesterday in Charleston, South Carolina, and came away extremely impressed with what they witnessed.
Here are some of the observations from yesterday’s practice:
· The Bulldogs are obviously making it a point of emphasis to improve the passing game this season. The Citadel finished dead last in the FCS in passing offense last year, but they are hoping that spending more time focusing on the passing game will lead to improvement on the field this fall.
· In comparison to many other FCS programs, the Citadel is very small at the point of attack. However, the Bulldogs make up for their lack of size by being extremely physical and remaining disciplined at all times.
· FB Terrell Dallas is returning from injury and he has already reasserted himself as the starting fullback. Dallas looked very good at practice and he will be able to handle the workload on a week to week basis.
· The Citadel blocked nine punts last season, and it is apparent that they really take pride in their special teams. The Bulldogs spent a good amount of time working on punt return during this practice, and there was always great intensity and emotion present during the drill.
· Defensively, the coaches kept reminding the players to be aggressive in going after the football. The Bulldogs believe that the fastest way that they are going to get back to the playoffs is by dominating the turnover margin.
· If you spend even 30 minutes watching The Citadel practice, you will be very aware of the fact that you are watching a military institution. The players are disciplined and tremendously well-mannered. You also get the sense that each individual has a firm understanding of their role on the team, and they are willing to do what is necessary for the benefit of the group as a whole.
The Citadel head coach Kevin Higgins
The Citadel OL Mike Sellers
The Citadel FB Darien Robinson
The Citadel DL Derek Douglas
The Citadel QB Ben Dupree
The Citadel RB Terrance Martin in Spring Practice