Troy State suffers loss of yet another offensive lineman

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 15, 2001

The casualties continued to mount for the Troy State football team on Tuesday.

The Trojans lost yet another offensive lineman during their evening practice ­ the fifth since two-a-days began last Thursday ­ when senior Charlie Goodyear suffered a bruised shoulder during full-contact drills. Goodyear and sophomore defensive lineman Jamaal Holt (sprained ankle) were both to be X-rayed late Tuesday to discover the extent of their injuries.

For Troy State offensive line coach Greg Adkins, it was another frustrating chapter in an ever-developing horror story.

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"Since I’ve been here (beginning in spring drills), we haven’t had the continuity of the same five guys for an extended period," Adkins said. "This position is all about continuity and gaining trust in the guy beside you and building unity. The positive side is that we have been able to work more guys ­ especially younger ones ­ but the downside is that we play in two-and-a-half weeks and have yet to have what I consider our starting group in the game as a unit."

In addition to Goodyear’s injury, the Trojans are already without junior Rodney Jordan (torn perctoral), freshman James Edwards (sprained knee) and junior Ryan Hurley (sprained ankle). Junior Trent Garmon (pulled hamstring) missed the first four days of practice before returning to the field on Monday.

Jordan and Hurley are both projected to contend for starting jobs. Both are expected to return by Monday.

"Getting Garmon back for us is a big plus," Adkins said. "He is a force because of his strength, his knowledge of football and his leadership. Now, we just need to find a way to get the others healthy."

For all that has been negative thus far, however, Adkins said the play of junior Lee Walls and sophomore Branden Hall has been encouraging.

Troy State head coach Larry Blakeney said he isn’t concerned with the injuries just yet, but he added that he will feel much better once some of the wounded find their way back into the huddle.

"You hate to see anyboy go down, but especially your linemen because we were thin to begin with at that position," Blakeney said. "But the main thing is that we have so much to learn with this offense. We are trying to see who we can count on, and it’s tough when you lose some of the key components. If we can get Rodney back, and Charlie isn’t too bad, we’ll be fine."

The news came on the eve of the team’s first preseason scrimmage, when the offense will be put under its first true test since two-a-days began. The scrimmage will begin at 6 p.m. at Richard M. Scrushy Field and is open to the public.

"We’ll get to see exactly what we have learned and retained," Blakeney said. "The players are looking forward to it, and our coaches are too. It will be a good measuring stick."

In other notes:

The team worked out for two hours each in morning and afternoon sessions on Tuesday, earning positive marks from Blakeney. "Our receivers continue to improve each day, and it looks like our defense is where it needs to be," Blakeney said. "Our quarterbacks are a little hot and cold, but I think they are catching on to the system. Everybody’s not perfect, but they are improving and executing. That’s what I am looking for most."

The Trojans will hold a light workout on Wednesday morning, beginning at 6:30 a.m., before the scrimmage. The team will conclude two-a-day workouts on Friday with 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. workouts before holding their final preseason scrimmage on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Junior tight end Adrian Moore continues to recover from a torn knee ligament suffered during the final workout of spring practice in March. The Oxford, Ala., native is being held out of full-contact work while still focusing on learning the offense. "We are nursing him along right now," Blakeney said. "He is not 100 percent physically, but we are trying to keep him in it mentally. He’s a little frustrated but he’s still working hard."

Blakeney also praised his kicking unit on Tuesday ­ one of the team’s biggest questions marks ­ when he singled out placekicker Drew Boteler. "He is really kicking it well. He just seems to be a lot stronger now than he was in the spring," Blakeney said. "It shows."