Kane Wommack led his first South Alabama team onto the practice field Saturday with energy and the Jaguars maintained that energy throughout the team’s first day of spring drills.
In their first day together on the field, Wommack and his new staff went about the task of preparing for the upcoming season while at the same time producing an urgency and atmosphere that gave a charge to the opening session which featured the team working out in shorts and helmets.
The Jags return to the practice field Sunday for a 4:30 practice, again on the team’s practice fields located adjacent to the Jaguar Training Center.
“The number one thing that we want to do is to focus on the organization of how we do things and the standard that we are going to hold guys to,” Wommack said following the first day of workouts. “We’ve been able to establish relationships and make connections to a certain level — things that we’ll continue to build and grow — but now we’re starting to see that play out on the field.
“To actually have a practice where there is adversity and conflict and opportunity for success, to be able to wrap those things into practice one and get better from that, that’s the real exciting part.”
Wommack addressed the energy that was evident in the team’s first practice.
“There are so many things in your mind as a head coach, making sure that we are getting things right, but there is not a lot of opportunity for reflection,” he said. “I thought the coaches, players and support staff did a phenomenal job of bringing an urgency to this practice. If you operate with a growth mindset, which means if, regardless of success or adversity we find a way to get better, we will get to where we want to go this spring.”
The practice offered the first chance for the coaching staff to get a look at transfer quarterback Jake Bentley on the field with his new teammates. And the offensive staff, led by coordinator Major Applewhite, got the chance to see wide receiver Jalen Tolbert as well as Louisiana Tech offensive lineman transfer Antawn Lewis (6-foot-3, 320 pounds).
On defense, coordinator Corey Batoon and his staff got their first glance at safety Keith Gallman and others on that side of the ball.
“When you think about spring goals, first and foremost you want to make sure you identify the personnel you are trying to get the ball to or trying to create one-on-one matchups for defensively,” Wommack said. “Major has said it best, I will look in the fridge and see what ingredients we have and then I’ll let you know what we’re going to cook up. That’s a big piece of what we are going right now.
“Certainly there is a base level of scheme with what we are doing offensively, defensively and on special teams, but the nice thing is that I think we have a system in each unit of the game right now and have a base to know what we can do and find creative ways schematically to identify and feature that personnel.”
Spring drills will end with the annual spring game to be played at Hancock Whitney Stadium on Saturday, April 17. All other practices will take place on the team’s practice field, unless inclimate weather moves practice to the Jaguar Training Center.
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