Valdosta, GA -- Below is a wrap-up of Valdosta State's sixth day of practice on Saturday, which featured the squad's only two-a-day practice schedule of the preseason.
TWICE IS NICE: Valdosta State Head Coach David Dean came away from Saturday's very pleased with his team's effort and intensity after the dual practices on the day. He felt the team came out very focused for the morning session and was surprised by the energy displayed by both sides of the ball in the afternoon session.
Much of Dean's pleasure was directed at the offense, which suffered through a sub-par practice on Friday, but responded to teaching from the coaches to shine in both practices on Saturday. Dean felt the squad, particularly the offense line, did a great job during the short yardage drills in the early morning.
TAKING A JAB AT THE HEAD MAN: When he called the team together after the final practice of the day, Dean told the players that when he was a student-athlete at Georgia Tech, the team had 14 days of two-a-days, as compared to the one that Valdosta State had this year.
Unable to let the chance at having some fun at the head man's expense, senior defensive lineman Tyler Josey, to the amusement of his teammates, followed the statement by Dean by saying:
"Wasn't that when they played with leather helmets. Those were cooler to play in."
Dean joined in the laughter before good naturedly reminding Josey he would had a good memory for such slights.
FROM THE HEAD MAN: "I was very, very pleased with our effort in the two practices. I thought we had a lot of enthusiasm, especially this afternoon. It was probably the most spirited early part of any practice we have had. Guys were talking and jabbering which was good to see. It showed they were excited to get out here.
"We did a lot of short yardage stuff day and, boy, did we make some big plays on offense, both running and throwing the ball. Still made some good plays on defense also. We weren't 100 percent in making first downs, but we had a good percentage and were where we need to be. The offense line took up the challenge that we gave them last night and came out with two really good practices."
PASSING THE EYE TEST: With two practices, Dean had a great chance to be impressed by players so, not surprisingly, he had a great number of names when asked who caught his eye.
Chaz Matthews was mentioned for some great plays during the morning team period while safeties Harrison Dreiling and Chris Caspari also passed the test in the Coach's eyes during the day. On the offense side of the ball, back-up center Kevin Jackson was mentioned for the great improvement he had made over the last four days while Austen Roberts had a great day throwing the ball. Finally, a quintet of running backs were named as David Bailey, Theseus Jackson, Troy Braswell, D'Amonte' Ridley and Darius Kimbrough all had great days in Dean's eyes.