KSU football spring practice update

The Flashes had a white vs. blue jersey scrimmage on April 5. Photo by Jenna Watson.

The Flashes had a white vs. blue jersey scrimmage on April 5. Photo by Jenna Watson.

Matt Lofgren

Coach Darrell Hazell said he made Tuesday’s football practice at Dix Stadium stress an “Army emphasis” to represent the team’s Oct. 13 matchup at West Point.

Pleased with his team’s tempo and work ethic this spring, Hazell said Tuesday was another day of seeing positive strides on both offense and defense.

“Great strides today I think, great energy,” Hazell said. “Guys were running around with intensity. We had an Army emphasis today, and I thought the guys were focused for the first time…”

Knowing the game is still far off, the players and coaches practiced with a serious mindset. Blowing an assignment or relaxing on a play off is no longer in the players’ vocabulary as each fumble, interception or missed coverage results in a long jog around the field.

Mock Draft: Starters Early Favorites

This year, just like last year, the Kent State seniors will be picking underclassmen for their teams for Saturday’s spring game.

Last year’s second overall pick for the spring game and senior for the 2012-13 season, Tyshon Goode, said he was excited to be on the other side of the draft for once.

“They’re going to split us up, the seniors, and we’re going to take who we want and see what’s our strong points,” Goode said. “Of course, we’re going to try and get all the starters, but of course, that’s not going to happen.”

Goode wouldn’t clue anyone in on his team’s strategy for the first overall pick, but Hazell said that he is interested in seeing how his elevation of players compare to how the players see one another.

“It’s always different for some crazy reason,” Hazell said. “It’ll be interesting to see who the first pick in the draft is and obviously all the draft-available players are underclassmen, so there’s some strategy involved. There are some guys who have played dual position[s], so we’ll see how well the teams figure it out, but it’ll be fun.”

Only 10 offensive linemen will be available for the game on Saturday, so all the big guys will be stretched for playing time. But no matter how many linemen are available, or where a player gets picked, Goode said the team is looking to have fun with the draft before the team gets serious come Saturday.

“It’s kind of like the real experience because your name gets called and you get up, you get your T-shirt and sit back down, so it’s just kind of cool,” Goode said. “I like [it]. It’s a fun day.”

Defense Wins Over the Coveted Blue Practice Jerseys

For the first 10 practices of spring practice, the offense won the rights to wear the blue practice jerseys. But that all changed Saturday during the jersey scrimmage when the defense prevailed and won them back for the rest of the spring.

“This whole spring, that was coach [Jon] Heacock’s main focus to get the blue jersey,” sophomore defensive tackle Richard Gray said. “So we wanted to go out there, and we didn’t want to disappoint him, and we did what we had to.”

Gray is coming off a torn ACL from last season and is looking to get more playing time alongside junior defensive lineman Roosevelt Nix. His hard work paid off last Saturday as he impressed many coaches.

“I just did my job, stayed in my lane and they told me to stay low,” Gray said. “So I’m playing low and using my hands. My hands are still a little bit sore.”

Gray is just one of a few guys that have been making appearances in the backfield. Sophomores Nate Terhune and Carlows Brown have been making a difference on the line as well, Gray said.

Contact Matt Lofgren at [email protected] or @MLofgrenDKS.