Keep in mind folks that I wasn't around last year for football season which, given the fact that Terry Bowden is new also, has its advantages.
Where I am at a disadvantage, however, is knowing the players. Prior to the start of the season I intend to watch as many Zips games as possible on DVD.
But now spring practice is upon us. Knowing some may be curious, here are some observations:
Beautiful day and the players and coaching staff took advantage. The hoots, grunts, hollering could be heard by anyone walking near InfoCision Tuesday morning. The players were "up". Becuase I had nothing to compare it, I soon learned that the improved attitude is showing up already. The practices were intense and when they needed to be they were competitive.
Believe it or not, the big battle will come at quarterback and although it was just Day 1, someone with a trained eye could see that incumbent QB Clayton Moore will get pushed by transfer Dalton Williams.
Williams was a four-year backup at Stephen F. Austin, completed his degree and came in with one year of eligibility left. He was going to go to Bowden at UNA, but when the coach left, he followed. I suspect that he arrives here anticipating to play. He's comfortable in Bowden's no-huddle, spread offense and it showed.
It's also quite clear that Moore isn't about to allow him to just take the job. In short: this should be a fun one.
On another note: Bowden is trying three players out in different spots. Thoe most notable: Akron native and Firestone grad Cody Grice, who started as a fullback, will move the the D-line. FB Nick Rossi will also move to defense as a linebacker. Safety L.T. Smith will move to offense as a wide receiver.