Trojans looking for depth along front lines

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 29, 2003

The Troy State football team practiced for three hours in shorts and helmets on the TSU intramural fields Tuesday night, the squad's second workout of the 2003 season, capping what Head Coach Larry Blakeney called "another solid practice" with a 30-minute conditioning session.

The offense and defense continued to work on fundamentals and install portions of their offensive and defensive schemes under first-year offensive coordinator Mark Fleetwood and first-year defensive coordinator Vic Koenning. The Trojans will add shoulder pads to their practice gear on Wednesday and Thursday before putting on full pads for the first time on Friday.

"A lot of guys have really looked good these first two days," Blakeney said. "I see a lot of energy and players working and pushing and trying to make a move early. I like that. That is what these first few days are for."

Blakeney singled out junior right tackle Donnie Bostian and all of the team's junior college defensive linemen as catching his eye in the early going. The Trojans welcomed Cedric Sullivan (Kilgore, Texas, JC) in the spring and added Tagarius Spikes (Ellsworth, Iowa, CC), Scott Jobe (Foothill, Calif., JC) and Bryan Snell (Mt. San Antonio, Calif., JC) this week.

"All of our junior college guys look good and like they are going to be what we thought they were when we signed them," Blakeney said. "Finding some players up front on both sides of the ball is key for our football team right now, and I am definitely encouraged by what I've seen the first two days."

NOTES: More than 30 players finished TSU's second summer term with final exams on Wednesday. Summer graduation is scheduled for Friday at Trojan Arena. Senior quarterback Matt Ray will graduate this summer, joining teammate Adrian Moore in graduate school this fall Š wide receiver Toris Rutledge suffered a shoulder sprain on Tuesday and will likely not practice on Wednesday Š sophomore fullback Cody Williams has left the team and will likely return to his hometown of Dora, Ala., this week. He joins sophomore wide receiver Cale Tucker and senior linebacker Devon Wells, who have also left the team Š Wells and Tucker were replaced by defensive back Damien Baker from Heflin, Ala., and linebacker Kody Martin of Niceville, Fla., on the team's 105-man roster, which is the maximum allowed to report under NCAA rules until school begins on Aug. 18 Š The departure of Williams leaves the Trojans with just two true fullbacks in senior Chris Cox and freshman Sean Dawkins. Junior Jordan Lesley and freshman Justin Harp are also listed on the depth chart at the position Š Troy State's Picture Day is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 24, at Movie Gallery Stadium.