There's still a few stragglers who have not started spring ball yet. Hello, guys! It's almost April! Sure, it's still snowing in half of the country, but we're getting antsy over here.
On second thought: apologies for antsiness. Spread this out as long as possible so that this goes for as long as possible so we have stuff to talk about for as long as possible so it doesn't seem like so damn long until August, which doesn't seem so damn long until September, which is football!
Here's a look at spring ball news from Tuesday:
The Golden Gophers are starting, and after making a bowl game under Jerry Kill, The Daily Gopher feels the team is finally starting to become, well, a regular college football team.
What one didn't hear from Kill or read in a transcript: chatter about lack of depth, players beginning to understand how the coaches operate or talk about how "this year is different" from the previous. This is your garden variety spring practice slate, in which fans should erase any notion of the up-to-the-minute depth chart holding any significance, emphasis will rest in teaching and learning, young players get the chance to earn reps and showcase what they can do, all without the pressure of the staff actually having to win a game that Saturday. It is a return to normalcy for Gopher football, which in the context of recent history, is a very good thing.
The Tigers start spring ball Wednesday, and as Gus Malzahn begins his tenure as head coach of the Tigers, he explains that his team needed a late start to get stronger. Yes, physically, but also mentally.
"I'm excited about spring practice starting tomorrow. I know we're starting a little bit later than a lot, but it was for a couple reasons," he said. "We felt like we needed to get stronger in the weight room. (Strength and conditioning coach Ryan) Russell has assured me that we have.
"We really felt like we needed to get mentally tougher, and we worked hard with 6 a.m. workouts, really straining our guys. We feel like we have a good foundation going into spring practice."
Mark Stoops is new at Kentucky. Mark Stoops is Angry Coach Stoops at Kentucky.
"I'm not buying that. They know what's going on now," Stoops said. "Now it's gets back to habits. Now it gets back to this day five, Monday morning, 'I'm going to go back to my old ways and just BS around for a few periods and then we'll play for a little bit.' It's not good enough. It's not acceptable.
The Scarlet Knights got underway, and they're missing a pretty important piece: Brandon Coleman, the team's top wide receiver, who is out with knee surgery
That leaves Kyle Flood looking for a lot of players:
"This is a time to find out what kind of team we are going to be," Flood said. "Who are going to be the players on offense and defense that are going to be our playmakers? That’s what spring practice is going to allow us to find out."
The Scarlet Knights have Hurricane Sandy-themed jerseys for their spring football game and will ask fans to donate to those effected by the storm.