CAMP DIARY: Shoulder pads come out on the third day early Sunday morning

BOILING SPRINGS – Gardner-Webb football slipped on shoulder pads for its first practice shells of the preseason early Sunday morning at Spangler Stadium.

The training routine was different from the initial two days, with form tackling drills implemented early on in addition to several periods of intensive special team work. The typical 7v7 period was completed on Sunday morning with indoor and individual drills.

The increased heat also boosted the energy, with high intensity rhythm and tempo throughout. The Runnin ‘Bulldogs responded with great energy at all levels during the exercises.

Gardner-Webb will continue his morning workout schedule on Monday and Tuesday before his first day off Wednesday.

The depth along Gardner-Webb’s defensive front entering the fall 2021 season has been well documented, but unity is not only deep. They’re a talented squad overall, fortunate to be one of the best in the country this season.

Anchored by the late All-American Ty French (6-3, 242, So.), the GWU defense front includes two largely underrated starters in Shai thomas (6-2, 271, Sr.) and Janathian turner (6-3, 306, father). Add a surprisingly quick tackle Charlie jackson (6-4, 323, So.) and the first four men are formidable.

The influx of talent does not stop there. Former starters Kendall bailey (6-4, 275, Gr.) And Tremayne Booker (6-2, 268, Gr.) Are now running with the second team, both adding speed after slipping inside from the end. Linebackers converted Ga’Marcus Freeman (6-2, 257, So.) and Kyndall Clark (6-2, 234, Gr.) Also showed flashes of outstanding play after moving towards the end.

The youngsters then turn, with a former three-star tackle Cash Devaughn (6-2, 297, Fr.) among a group of very promising newcomers. To finish Xavier Brun (6-6, 265, Fr.), with only two years of football experience under his belt, was very active in the drills on Sunday morning.

Nick Hunter (6-5, 210, Fr.), former ferryman of all states, Brand Tim (6-6, 220, Fr.), Brice Basse (6-4, 236, So.) and Willie harris (6-1, 270, Fr.) have a bright future and tackle Chris Richardson (6-3, 298, So.) has become a potential rotation man.


* Tight end Deland thomas is expected to continue Gardner-Webb’s All-Conference tradition in that role this season. On Sunday, the 6-foot-4, 239-pound player was at home putting on shoulder pads, making two big catches in individual drills and a long first down grab in team drills.

* The Runnin ‘Bulldogs continue to run four men at quarterback evenly at the start of camp.

* Gardner-Webb’s second leg is not expected to collapse in 2021. Special teams coordinator Taylor hennigan and co-coordinator Dominique davenport having a solid plan and the talent available to return kicks is plentiful. Speedsters Narii gaiter (5-10, 177, Jr.) and TJ Luther (6-1, 186, Sr.) lined up with the team’s first returning unit on Sunday and both have plenty of experience. Luther took a 102-yard kickoff for a score last spring against VMI. Two other fast men lined up with the second group, with ultra-elusive Justin franklin (5-9, 176, Fr.) joined by a veteran Dexter Brown (6-0, 192, Jr.).

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