Wednesday, August 08, 2007
ORANGEBURG, SC – South Carolina State held its first drill in pads Tuesday, working out in shorts, helmets and shoulder pads and a few players struggled a bit amid the soaring temperatures, according to Bulldog head coach Buddy Pough.
“Usually when you put on pads for the first time, it’s somewhat of a transition for the players and it may take a day or two for them to adjust. But, today (Tues.), we only had a few guys to go down. The vast majority of them fought through the extremely hot conditions and performed well.”
During Tuesday’s drill, Pough said that his Bulldogs continued to emphasize fundamentals and learning their schemes on both offense and defense. SC State also devoted some attention to two additional areas of special teams – kickoffs and kickoff returns, according to the Bulldog mentor.
“Getting our offenses and defenses installed appear to be going pretty smoothly,” he said. “We are about two-thirds of the way in getting everything in on both sides of the ball.
He added that like most of the teams around the nation, SC State was putting a lot of emphasis on kickoffs since the yard line for kickoffs has been moved back five yards to the 30, which most likely would affect the number of touchbacks (kicks reaching the end zones).
“I think a lot of teams will be devoting more time to kickoffs,” he said. “Moving the tee back to the 30-yard line could be significant, however, we didn’t get a lot of touchbacks as it was last season, so the new mark may not affect us quite as much”
Pough noted that redshirt sophomore Stephen Grantham, who is back at placekicker after missing all of the 2006 season, would be the Bulldogs primary kickoff guy, with reserve duty coming from former Orangeburg standout Aaron Haire, who is also the number one punter on the SC State depth chart.
SC State will workout in shorts and shoulder pads again on Wednesday, beginning at 3:30 p.m. before going to full gear -- but not full contact – Thursday at the same time. Two-a-day drills begin Friday.
On Saturday, SC State will conduct its annual “Press and Media Day,” beginning at 9 a.m. at O.C. Dawson Stadium