FOOTBALL BEGINS SPRING PRACTICE ON WEDNESDAY
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento State football team will open its 2011 spring practice on Wednesday, March 30. The 15-practice spring schedule will include three scrimmages.
During the opening week, the Hornets will practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 3-5:15 p.m. Beginning on Monday, Apr. 4, the team will stagger their workout sessions during the week. A complete list of the spring practice times can be found by selecting the link on the left.
PLENTY OFNEW FACES ON THE SIDELINES
Sacramento State made several changes to its coaching staff during the offseason with the addition of four new coaches. On the offensive side, Bush Hamdan will mentor the tight ends and Fred Kelley will serve as the offensive line coach.
Defensively, Andy Avalos will enter his first season coaching the Hornet linebackers and Jordan Gigli will coach the defensive line.
EIGHT STARTERS RETURN ON OFFENSE
Over the final seven games of the season, Sacramento State scored at least 40 points in four contests and averaged 36.6 points per game. Most of key contributors for that unit return in 2011 as the Hornets feature eight returning starters.
Quarterback Jeff Fleming, who was a second team all-Big Sky selection a year ago, will likely lead the offense. Fleming finished ninth in the Football Championship Subdivision in passing efficiency (147.42) and set the school record with 24 passing touchdowns. However, Fleming will sit out most of the spring with an elbow injury which leaves the door open for Tommy Edwards, Dominic Carmazzi and Garrett Safron to take snaps.
The running back corps will be led by senior Bryan Hilliard who averaged 98.11 yards per game in 2010 and rushed for 12 touchdowns. Seniors Jake Croxdale and Curtis Shaw will also be back as will junior Sam McCowan and redshirt freshman Ron Douglas.
With three all-Big Sky selections at wide receiver, the position is one of the deepest for the Hornets. Chase Deadder and Morris Norrise each were recognized by the conference after breakout seasons in 2010. Senior Brandyn Reed, who was an all-conference selection in 2009, returns after redshirting last season as does senior John Hendershott.
On the offensive line, four of the five starters are back with the lone exception being center Jaren Harrell. Tackles John Taylor and Nate Doverspike will be pair with guards Tyler Worthley and Clay DePauw.
NASH HIGHLIGHTS DEFENSIVE RETURNERS
Zack Nash, who was a second team All-American as a junior, returns for his senior season. Nash led the Big Sky and ranked fourth in the FCS with 1.18 sacks per game. He was also the Big Sky leader in tackles-for-loss and was a first team all-Big Sky honoree.
Also back on the front line will be David Coleman and Matt Lawrence but the team will have to find a replacement for three-year starter Christian Clark in the interior.
Jeff Badger will man the middle of the linebacking unit for the second consecutive season. Last season, Badger had 41 total tackles, including 7.5 for loss. The weak-side position will be up for grabs in the spring following the graduation of Peter Buck.
In the secondary, cornerbacks Osagie Odiase and Kyle Monson and nickelback Evander Wilkins all return after starting last season. Senior Joe Larche is the only returner at safety who has a started a game in the past for the Hornets.