March 24, 2008
Spring Game Central
Orlando, Fla. (www.UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF football team conducted its first of 15 spring practices on Monday morning, working out for just over two hours on the fields adjacent to the Wayne Densch Sports Center. The team spent a good portion of the session working on individual drills as the Knights saw the field for the first time since their 2007 Conference USA Championship season.
Overall, head coach George O'Leary said he was pleased with what he saw from his team on the opening day of spring drills. "I thought it was good. There was retention, obviously, from the number of kids back that played last year," the 2007 C-USA Coach of the Year said. "We'll go the first couple of days without pads, so it will be a matter of going through alignments and assignments. Wednesday, we will be in full pads and go from there."
Following their individual drills, the Knights' offense worked on the passing game as all four quarterbacks on the roster were able to get some throws in to the wide receivers, tight ends and running backs. Junior Michael Greco along with redshirt freshmen Joe Weatherford, Nate Tice and Andy Slowik all made several throws during both passing drills and team work periods.
Defensively, the Knights got a dose of the two new coaches on O'Leary's staff as secondary coach Gary Blackney and linebackers coach Geoff Collins worked with the players on the field for the first time since joining the staff during the winter.
"The guys had the `coach-me-coach' attitude and that is what I was watching for on the field," O'Leary added. "I saw the guys doing what they do. They practiced extremely hard and they got a lot of reps in with different people. I was really pleased with (everything) that took place."
The Knights will practice three more times during the week before taking a day off to attend Ereck Plancher's funeral in Naples on Saturday, March 29. The start of spring practices was postponed through Easter Weekend to allow the players and staff time to grieve last Tuesday's passing of Plancher.
The football team will hold its annual spring football game on Saturday, April 12 as part of the 2008 UCF Hall of Fame Weekend. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. and the game will be played for the first time in Bright House Networks Stadium.
For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.