Freshmen wide outs impress Blakeney in practice

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Five days into August practice, Troy State head football coach Larry Blakeney admits that he likes the energy of his 2002 squad ­ on both sides of the ball.

With the team’s first preseason scrimmage only two days away, however, he said offensive consistency is his biggest concern.

"We’ve got to establish an offensive personality," Blakeney said following the team’s two-hour workout on Monday evening. "We are getting a lot of reps in right now but not nearly enough. We’ve got to lock down and get serious."

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The Trojans practiced for two hours in morning and evening sessions on Monday as they continued preparations for their Aug. 31 season-opener at ninth-ranked Nebraska. The unit again worked through full-contact drills on Monday, finishing the evening practice with 11-on-11 work inside Memorial Stadium.

Starting quarterback Hansell Bearden and backup Matt Ray, a junior college transfer, both earned praise from Blakeney on Monday. He saved the majority of his accolades, however, for the Trojans’ talented group of freshman wide receivers.

"I know we are better at wide receiver this year, all four (positions) across," he said. "We have got some freshmen who can really help us and who are working as hard as they can right now to make us better. They’re excited about being out there, and I like that. Some of them are going to get a chance to play this year."

Blakeney singled out the efforts of freshman receivers Zsan Robinson (Rockledge, Fla.), James Earl Cray (Hazlehurst, Ga.) and Toris Rutledge (Reddick, Fla.).

In other news: Senior center Trent Garmon missed his third consecutive day of workouts with a tender shoulder. He is scheduled to have an MRI performed on Tuesday in Birmingham to determine the cause of the discomfort

Freshman strong safety Damien Coleman practiced for the first time on Monday. He had been sidelined by a knee injury

Junior placekicker Matt Munyon practiced on Monday, going through a light kicking session. He had been sidelined with a hip flexor

The Trojans will scrimmage at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Memorial Stadium, with a second scrimmage planned for 11:30 a.m. on Saturday

Two-a-day workouts on Tuesday and Wednesday will be the final ones before classes begin on Monday, Aug. 19. The team will meet in positional groups in the mornings on Thursday and Friday before working on the field in afternoon sessions The remainder of the team’s walk-ons will report on Sunday, Aug. 18, for physicals. The team expects 20-25 players to report and join the team on the field Monday afternoon

The 2002 Troy State Fan Appreciation Day is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25, at Memorial Stadium. Troy State players, coaches, cheerleaders, and the TSU mascot (T-Roy), will be on hands for pictures and autographs.