Prior to taking the field the team took their 300 yard shuttle conditioning test. The results were what Johnson thought they should be. "I think for the most part the guys worked hard." As is normally the case, there were three or four that will have to put in some extra work. "We'll start working with them in the morning."
One of the players that impressed Johnson in the coinditioning was defensive end Izaan Cross. Cross has dropped some weight over the summer. "He looked really good runnimng around out there."
Coach Johnson always looks forward to the first day and today was no different. "We have a new group of guys and it's fun to get out there and get started."
The staff is also excited about being able to use the new facility. The team spent most of the practice outside except for the opening stretch. The kickers, however, made good use of the indoor facility. The team wasn't on the field as long as they usually are due to the morning conditioning test.
One group that was especially excited to get on the field was the freshman class. "I think their heads are probably spinning right now." Johnson likes what he sees from the class. "They're a good looking class overall and there's some big, lean, athletic- looking kids."
The Jackets also saw the return of one player and saw another take a medical hardship. Chris Jackson retuned to practice after dealing with academic issues. "I'm encouraged by the way he handled himself off the field and we'll see if that can transition to on the field." Johnson is not concerned about the results of Jackson's finals.
Fan favorite Denzel McCoy will be taking a medical hardship. "He won't be able to play." The main concern was looking out for Denzel's well being and health. McCoy will be helping in the offices as a student assistant.
One area of concern has been the health of the offensive line. Offensive tackle Morgan Bailey returns in good health. "Hopefully, we can keep him out there." Johnson is looking forward to taking advantage of Bailey's ability.
NEWS AND NOTES
Tyler Kidney will be fighting for a job at offensive tackle. If Kidney wins the job, he'll be given a scholarship.
The team will practice for two weeks before they break out in to offensive, defensive, and respective scout teams.