TROY — It was time for the Troy football team to get physical on Saturday.
The Trojans wrapped up their first week of spring training under new head coach Jon Sumrall with a two-hour physical practice at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday morning.
The practice was the first this spring in the shoulder pads and Sumrall was impressed with what he saw of the Trojans during the intense practice.
“The first day of practice in the pads had a lot of energy and excitement,” Sumrall said. “I think we did a really good job for the first time wearing shoulder pads and training with the right pace at the line of scrimmage.”
Working on all aspects of the game in training, the Trojans held several 11-on-11 drills as they tried to build chemistry before embarking on full-speed contact drills next week.
“They were smart about being physical while not throwing guys away,” Sumrall said. “They brought the physical element into the game, but they were also smart about the way we train.
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“They competed. The level of excitement of these guys, I have no complaints. They have been out every day this week with energy.
The Trojan players were also excited to put on the shoulder pads and train physically.
“Today was a really good day to put pads on,” second-year running back Kimani Vidal said. “It was a good day to be physical and set the tone on the first Saturday (of spring). It was good to have a bit of a step back (from the defense).
Vidal said an important part of training for Trojan ball carriers is focused on keeping the ball safe during drills.
“Ball security is going to be very important,” Vidal said. “We have to pay attention to the details because the level of intensity has been pushed.”
Troy continues with three practices this week, starting Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. while waiting for bad weather. The Trojans will also train on Thursday and Saturday morning. They will split practices this week between their training ground and Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Sumrall said there are several things in particular Troy’s coaches want to work on next week as Troy moves into full-speed contact drills.
“Lineups, assignments, technique details,” Sumrall said. “Everything we do, we have to be very detailed in how we do it. The guys are ready to have a contact. They are ready to compete, but we have to make sure they understand how we do what we do and why we do it. They continue to grow in this area.
As a team, Troy is working on his annual spring T-Day intrasquad game, scheduled for Saturday, April 23 at 4 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Troy returns 10 offensive starters from last year’s 5-7 season, including All-Sun Belt selections in left tackle Austin Stidham and receiver Tez Johnson and Vidal.
Defensively, the Trojans return nine starters from a year ago, led by All-American linebacker Carlton Martial and All-American bandit Javon Solomon. Additionally, the Troy defense fires All-Sun Belt selections Will Choloh, KJ Robertson, Reddy Stewart, Richarc Jiburnor and TJ Harris.
The Trojans open the 2022 season on the road on Saturday, Sept. 3, playing Southeastern Conference opponent Ole Miss at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss.
The following week, on September 10, Troy had their home opener against Alabama A&M. The Trojans then opened Sun Belt conference play Sept. 17 at Appalachian State before holding their conference opener at home Sept. 24 against Marshall.
Match times have not yet been set for Troy football matches.