Spring practice shows Thomas Heyward’s depth
Thomas Heyward might be graduating 12 seniors, but it doesn’t appear the football team will lack depth.
During spring practice last week Thomas Heyward had 31 players, including nine rising freshman, coach Nic Shuford said.
Shuford said the younger group quickly adapted.
“They are getting right in there and mixing it up with the rising seniors,” Shuford said last Thursday. “As of right now, they’ve been fearless.”
The strong turnout excites Shuford because it will allow the coaches to have 11-on-11 live drills and gives the team the potential to rotate fresh players when the season begins.
Therion Cannon, John Hewlett, Luke Bond and Sonny Halker are rising freshman who Shuford thinks will provide depth on the offensive and defensive lines.
Peyton Bennett, Fulton Wade, Jeremy Clemmer, Preston Humbert and Branden Davis were also on the field last week looking to impress.
Shuford enjoyed how the older students worked with the younger class.
“The older guys did a great job helping them along and the younger guys weren’t timid at all,” he said. “We have rising freshmen that love playing.”
Spring practice was about introducing terminology to the new players and working on tweaks to the spread offense with the veterans.
Shuford said spring isn’t used to quickly implement myriad offensive packages, but a way to instill the basics and have the team ready to go when official practices begin July 27.
“When they hear us talk about some of the plays, it’s not foreign when they come back,” Shuford said.
Rising senior Logan Thomas expects to be one of the Rebels’ leaders and Shuford said last week he saw Thomas, a quarterback, be more vocal. Shuford’s encouraged by Thomas’ willingness to take charge.
“He’s already more vocal this spring,” Shuford said. “He’s letting guys know when they are doing things wrong and when they are doing right. I think it will be huge for us. He’s always been more quiet, but now he’s more of a vocal guy.”