The Sacramento State football held its first three practices of its 2010 spring ball. The spring practice marks the fourth year under head coach Marshall Sperbek. Below are a few notes heading into the spring season.
Same Faces, New Places
Despite having all but two coaches return from last season, several will serve in different capacities in 2010. On the offensive side of the ball, Klayton Adams
shifts from tight ends/tackles coach to run the offensive line. Robbie Case, who was the team’s offensive graduate assistant in 2009, will take Adams’ old role leading the tight ends.
Fourth-year receivers coach Daniel DaPrato
will take on the additional challenge of special teams coordinator and the team plans to hire a new graduate assistant. Aaron Ingram
remains the running backs coach.
Defensively, Anthony Parker
begins his first year as defensive coordinator. The Boise State graduate is in his second year with Sacramento State and served as the defensive backs/special teams coordinator a year ago.
Lou Baiz, the longest tenured member of the staff, returns to guide the linebackers. Jon Osterhout
continues to be the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator and Steve Roberson
coaches the secondary. The newest member of the staff is Greg Sasser who will serve as the defensive graduate assistant. Sasser starred as a linebacker at Boise State from 1998-2001.
The coaching staff was not the only part of the program that saw some movement during the winter. Several Hornets will be playing new positions beginning this spring, including a handful who are switching sides of the ball.
Most notably, Evander Wilkins
will move from running back to defensive back. Wilkins has played each of the past two years but has been endured season-ending injuries in 2008 and 2009. The Sacramento native was granted a hardship waiver last season and will have two seasons left to play. Wilkins is expected to contend for the nickel back position with the defense.
Moving from defense to offense will be Salesi Maumau
. Last season, Maumau saw action on the defensive line and on special teams. This spring, he will test his skills at tight end where he could lineup across from his brother Maika.
Other changes include David Coleman
’s move to defensive end. Coleman came to the Hornets has a quarterback in 2007 and moved to defensive back that fall. He has played linebacker the last two seasons. Senior Jarred Pereira
will also move with Coleman from linebacker to the defensive front.
How Do You Top That?
The last time McLeod Bethel-Thompson
was in a Hornet uniform, he had just led the team to a come-from-behind 31-28 victory over UC Davis in the Causeway Classic. In that game, Bethel-Thompson came off the bench to start the second half and rallied the team behind a 19-for-29 performance for 233 yards and two touchdowns.
Following the season, Bethel-Thompson, who has already graduated, flirted with the idea of heading off the law school and giving up football. Instead, he opted to come back for his senior season and will work toward a graduate degree in the meantime.
The San Francisco native started a pair of games in 2009 and played in four others, finishing the season 64-for-110 for 746 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions.
During the spring, Bethel-Thompson will share snaps with junior college transfer Pete Murdaca and sophomore Dominic Carmazzi
Look Who’s Back
One reason why Wilkins is now playing on defense is the return of Bryan Hilliard
. The junior missed all of 2009 after having surgery on both shoulders. In his first two seasons with the team, Hilliard rushed for 1,905 yards and 19 touchdowns..
Also returning to the backfield this year will be junior Jake Croxdale
and sophomore Sam McCowan
. McCowan ranked second on the team with 344 rushing yards and four touchdowns while Croxdale compiled 199 yards and three scores.
The installation of the new field turf will likely keep the team on the practice field for all of spring ball. The team will hold scrimmages on April 17 and 24 and the annual Green-Gold Game on May 1.