JACKSONVILLE, AL (WBRC) - The Jacksonville State football team moved Friday's workout up to give the Gamecocks some time to get ready for Saturday and their final scrimmage of the 2013 preseason.
Jax State worked out for about two hours on the team's practice field on Friday morning and then had some down time in the afternoon. It was a schedule change from the previously scheduled afternoon practice and one head coach Bill Clark hopes will pay off for his team two full weeks into camp. Another day of cooler temperatures also helped one day before that final scrimmage.
"The weather was great again for them," Clark said. "I felt like our attention was really good, but I think we are just at that point. We're at the very end of a lot of practices, and their legs are dead. We've protected them with a lot of ice baths and stretching, and we are going to stretch after practice, and then try and get ready for a great scrimmage tomorrow."
The Gamecocks will scrimmage on Burgess-Snow Field on Saturday, a workout that will be closed. Clark hopes it will create some separation on the depth chart and give guys a chance to move up or solidify their spots.
"We will be looking at those guys that are right there on the bubble, and then we will be looking for some of those guys to move up," Clark added. "You have some guys that are established, so we are looking more for who's that A-2 trying to be an A-1 and who's those B players trying to move up. We will also be looing for good things out of our special teams."
On Friday, Clark singled one of his outside linebacker positions, that being the SAM linebacker spot. He noted how important and versatile that position had to be in the Gamecocks' new-look defense.
"With us being in a 3-4 defense, we have one of our linebackers that is more of a defensive back-type guy, and that it our SAM linebacker," Clark explained.
Senior Robert Gray from Collinsville, Ala., moves to the SAM position from safety, where he totaled 43 tackles and broke up a few passes a year ago. He has the most experience of the group, which also includes sophomores Santavious Oden and JaJuan Lee, a duo that saw action in a reserve role in 2012. Apriccio Brown is also in the mix as a redshirt freshman.
"It is a good group," Clark said. "They are athletic and they are intelligent. We ask them to do a lot. They have to play in the box and go out and cover No. 2. We like to kind of separate those guys out, but they are doing a good job for us."
For tickets to the season opener at Alabama State or to any of the team's six home games in 2013, fans can call 1-877-JSU-TIXX or visit the ticket office online at www.jsugamecocksports.com.