Trojans gearing up for six-week practice session

Published 5:55 pm Thursday, June 25, 2020

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The Troy Trojans will be able to participate in a six-week practice session next month. Before then, the Trojans, like other teams, are holding voluntary workouts trying to get ready for the upcoming season.

The players arrived on campus on June 1 and immediately had to be checked for the coronavirus. Once cleared, the players had to adjust to working out, while also doing their part to keep themselves and their teammates healthy. Despite all of that, the players were more than happy to be back in the facility this.

“It sounds cool to be off for three to four months and be home, but I think they had cabin fever and got bored with it,” head coach Chip Lindsey said. “There was excitement to get back on campus.”

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The Trojans are preparing for the six-week summer practice schedule that was allowed by the NCAA earlier this month. Until then the Trojans are building their bodies back to up in order to be ready for preseason practice.

“We have stressed to them that these are voluntary workouts and the reason it’s laid out like it is, is because we are preparing our bodies to the point to where we can practice without injuring ourselves.”

Rusty Whitt, the team’s new Strength and Conditioning head coach has been charged with coming up with a workout plan.

“Rusty is a veteran guy and has been a head strength coach for 15 years now and he really understands what goes along with preparing the body to get back to practice,” Lindsey said. “It’s been a lot of fun seeing them and I know the boys are excited.”

As of last week, Lindsey hasn’t had much time to interact with his players, but he continues to get updates from coach Whitt.

He was able to see his players when they reported back to campus, and he was impressed with what he saw.

“I have been pleased with what I have seen,” Lindsey said. “Probably at every position, I think everybody came back a little heavier than they left. You like to see the guys’ weight up when you start practice because with the heat and the practice, your going to lose weight.”

Once the team is able to get back to work next month, Lindsey expects a full roster back in the facilities.

Before he can get around his players next month, Lindsey is relying on his older leaders to step up and show the younger players how to go about their daily routines during such an unusual time.

“Carlton Martial and Will Choloh come to mind for sure and we’re getting Terrance Dunlap back,” Lindsey said. “Those are veteran guys that have played a lot of snaps here and they have a lot of credibility with their teammates. They’re great at relaying the messages from the coaches. Those guys carry the message.”

On the offensive side, guys like B.J. Smith and Dylan Bradshaw are expected to be leaders this summer.

Lindsey hopes that one day his quarterback will be a guy the team can look to. As of now, Lindsey and the coaches don’t know who that guy is yet. Kaleb Barker is no longer on the team, leaving an open spot on the roster. Guys like Gunnar Watson and Jacob Free are two of the quarterbacks battling for the position.

“They are working extremely hard, but they’re probably not in that position from the standpoint of being a vocal leader,” Lindsey said. “We have plenty of time with the NCAA passing the six-week plan for those quarterbacks to assume a leadership role, whoever that may be. Once we get into fall camp in August we need to have a really good idea who are leader is at that position.”

The Trojans missed 10 practices this spring. With the six-week window to practice this summer, the Trojans are eager to just get on the field.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the groups mold and become a team,” Lindsey said. “The thing I look forward to is getting the reps. I like the talent we have, the kids we have signed and I like the kids we have coming back. Being able to put those new guys in place and watch this team grow is really exciting.”