JACKSONVILLE, Alabama – The Jacksonville State football team dressed with shells for the first time Friday during fall camp’s third practice.
Head coach John Grass said he was happy to see his team in shells and was happy with their morning session.
âI saw some good things today,â Grass said. “It was a long day – a hard day. We hit a wall, but we went a little further than the other two days. I hope we will continue to improve and go hard.
âIt’s good to put shells in. You can do a lot more in shells. You still want to stay off the ground, but you can get good blockages – a lot more than you can in shorts. It’s a little more conducive to the way we play the game. “
Friday’s long workout follows a short one-hour session on Thursday. Grass said the lighter training the night before helped the team recover from a tough outing to close the work week.
âIt gave us the training we had today,â said Grass. “We couldn’t have done this if we had been long yesterday. I hope we develop a tolerance with the short days and have better long days because of it. I think the recovery has helped a lot.”
As for injuries and adjustments, the head coach attributes the health of the team to the new staggered schedule. Its staff continue to focus on the health and recovery of student-athletes after spring workouts were cut short and summer workouts changed due to COVID-19.
âWe don’t have a lot of soft tissue stuff,â Grass said. âWe’ve got a part of that going up, and that means you have to reiterate it a bit to avoid those pulled hamstrings and groin stretches. Their body’s tolerance just isn’t there yet, it’s got to be. So it’s about recovery. We have to make sure that we gain weight back by eating well and staying hydrated. A lot of these problems are caused by dehydration, so we just need to get into a routine and take care of ourselves. “
The group most affected by fall camp, as you would expect every season, is the newcomer group. For many Gamecocks, this is their first taste of college practice.
âIt’s 24/7 football right now,â Grass said. âThe team is still trying to get used to it. I know some of the freshmen are in a bit of culture shock, but like I told them, the camp is a few days shorter this year. ‘We have not but about 10 days of camp. After that we will go to school and get ready to play a game. “
JSU is expected to have another short shell workout on Saturday morning before ramping up the intensity with full pads on Sunday.
âWe’re going to keep the same schedule until the weekend,â Grass said. “Our first day on the pads will be Sunday, so we’re going to go out and hit some more then.”
The Gamecocks are set to kick off the 2020 season on Thursday, September 3 against Florida International in Miami.