The Associated Press
The Meridian Star
Preparations for the 97th season of Southern Miss football got underway Friday morning with the start of practice under first-year coach Todd Monken.
The Golden Eagles went through a 2 1/2 hour morning workout in shorts and helmets in a progressively hot day at the John P. Park Practice Facility.
As the team started its opening day of work for its season opener, Aug. 31, at home against Texas State, the Golden Eagle head coach thought his team has a ways to go, but liked his squad’s start in its first practice.
“What was obvious was, as hard as our guys worked in the summer – and they did and how dedicated that they were – there was a just big difference in running at 6 a.m., over a half-hour or hour period taxing, as opposed to two hours with the helmet on having to think and concentrate. You find out that there is a big difference in being in shape and in being conditioned in football shape.”
The head coach, who also oversees the quarterback position, liked what he saw from that spot in that first day but expected there not to be a long, drawn out quarterback battle as he hopes to pare that down over the first two weeks of summer camp.
“No, it won’t last all fall,” said Monken. “It will last one week and we will go down to two (quarterbacks) and then down to one in another week (after that).”
Currently there are six quarterbacks in camp, including incoming senior Allan Bridgford, a transfer from Cal, junior Cole Weeks, redshirt sophomore Ricky Lloyd, redshirt freshmen Kyle Sloter, along with true freshmen Parker Adamson and Nick Mullens.
The Golden Eagles return to action with a busy day TodY, which will include an 8:30 a.m., practice, media day at noon and then Eagle Fanfare from 2-4 p.m., at the Lake Terrace Convention Center.