Thursday afternoon brought about the beginning of spring practice for the Hilltoppers. After not practicing for a few months the team was a little rusty but overall had a very good first practice.
Practice was extremely spirited and the Hilltoppers got a lot accomplished. Coaches were pushing players as if the Indiana game was on Saturday. Today's practice was physical, up-tempo and had the flavor of fall camp.
Players were in pads and players were not supposed to tackle but going almost four months without unloading on someone, proved hard to do.
Although this was the first practice of spring camp, a few players did catch my eye, and stood out on several plays and during drills.
On the offensive line, Cody Hughes and Greg Ryan played very physical for a first practice.
Running backs Tyrell Hayden, Andrew McCloud, and Bobby Rainy, all seemed to have had a good day.
At wide receiver, Quinterrance Cooper, Jake Gaebler, and Jessie Quinn, made a few good catches.
Defensively, LB Alonzo Higgins, DL "Big Red" Johnson, DB Brad Cloud made several plays. Defensive backs Rashad Etheridge and Jihad Morris practiced with a lot of intensity and were ready to lay the wood today.
The offense had a very good first day overall. However, to be fair, the defense was not allowed to de-horn the running backs and receivers.
Head Coach David Elson and the staff were all over the field teaching, pushing players, and keeping the tempo and intensity at high levels all practice long. Overall day one went very well.
One down, fourteen to go.
The Hilltoppers next practice will be Friday starting at 3:30pm at Houchens L.T. Smith Stadium. Practices are open to the public.