The first of 18 spring football price sessions will get under way Thursday afternoon for the Jacksonville Fightin' Indian football team.
Jacksonville head coach Chris Taber seemed up beat and chomping at the bit to get the young men onto the Happy Valley fields when interviewed on Tuesday.
“We feel good about our kids,” Taber said. “We've always talked about our freshmen and sophomores being really talented classes; now it's their turn.”
For the first time in quite some time Jacksonville went through spring drills last year, but Taber said things will be different this time around.
“Last year our sophomores were our depth and they just were not ready,” Taber said. “This year we have nearly 100 kids out, not including the incoming freshmen, so we will be able to line up on both sides of the ball and this will benefit all of our kids because we will be able to get more reps in during the spring and we'll be able to get more kids out onto the field.”
One thing that hasn't changed is the competitive atmosphere that spring drills are expected to bring.
“All positions are open; we have a lot of starting positions up for grabs,”Taber said. “We anticipate there will be some kids that step up during the month of May and get a jump on winning starting jobs on Friday night.”
Taber said that it is a three-phase process in determining the crteam of the crop.
“It all gets started in spring ball and we are usually able to identify what kids that we think will be the guys,” he said. “That will take us into the summer where we will continue to monitor who puts the time in on strength and conditioning workouts and the kids that compete in 7 on 7.