|ASU Continues Spring Workouts|
|Written by Mike Flynn|
|Wednesday, 02 March 2011 08:34|
Appalachian State University football moved into the second third of its spring-practice season on Tuesday when it held the sixth of its 15 spring sessions at chilly Kidd Brewer Stadium.In what will likely be its next-to-last outdoor practice of the spring, Appalachian worked for over two hours on the soon-to-be demolished KBS turf. The practice began with comfortable temperatures in the low 50s but quickly became much colder as the sun began to set behind the Appalachian Athletics Center.
Working in full pads for only the second time this spring, the Mountaineers spent the final 40 minutes of Tuesday’s practice doing 11-on-11 drills. A strong day overall by ASU’s defense, which mainly utilized the three-man fronts (both 3-4 and 3-3-5 packages) that it has installed as part of its overall schemes this spring, highlighted the full-team drills. In particular, linebacker Karl Anderson had a very impressive day, breaking up a handful passes over the middle and making several tackles, including at least one behind the line of scrimmage on a blitz.
Other defensive standouts included defensive linemen John Rizor and Dan Wylie, who were both in on multiple tackles for loss, and defensive back Ed Gainey, who recorded the only takeaway of the afternoon when he picked off a pass by sophomore quarterback Jamal Jackson, who was flushed out of the pocket by a strong pass rush from ASU’s front seven.
Offensive highlights included:
• strong performances by a pair of players working at least part-time at new positions — redshirt freshman Logan Hallock and junior Terrence McLean. Hallock, who spent last fall exclusively at quarterback but has been working in at wide receiver as well as QB this spring, made several catches as a wideout on Tuesday, many of them in traffic over the middle. McLean, who spent his first three years in the program on the defensive side of the ball, has moved to running back this spring and enjoyed another nice day at his new position on Tuesday with several strong runs to go along with a handful of catches out of the backfield.
• senior running back Travaris Cadet, who turned in perhaps the biggest offensive gains of the 11-on-11 periods with a couple of long runs. On one of the big carries, he received good blocking up front from ASU’s mostly young offensive line, then made several would-be tacklers miss as he worked his way deep into the defensive backfield.
Appalachian practices twice more this week before the Mountaineers get next week off for spring break. The NCAA-allowed 15 practices conclude on March 23.
NEW TURF DESIGN FINALIZED, INSTALLATION TO BEGIN THIS WEEK: Wednesday’s practice will likely be the last outdoor session of the spring for Appalachian, as the replacement of Kidd Brewer Stadium’s eight-year-old FieldTurf playing surface could begin as early as Thursday.
Kidd Brewer Stadium will be one of the first venues in the nation to feature FieldTurf’s new ‘Revolution’ playing surface, which features the latest technology to give ASU most player-friendly yet durable field available.
The field design features Appalachian’s familiar Block A logo at midfield, the recognizable Appalachian State wordmark in both end zones and alternating shades of green every five yards to give the artificial surface the look of a freshly mowed grass field.
Also as part of the project, the field’s crown will be removed and the high-jump pit that currently sits beyond the south end zone will be moved to the other end of the field to allow for the installation of additional stadium seating in the north end zone (in front of Owens Field House).
The removal of the old FieldTurf surface has been delayed by a couple of days but will begin this week, possibly as early as Thursday, and the installation of the new field is scheduled to be completed in plenty of time for the open of the fall sports practices in August.
GoASU.com will document the removal of the old playing field and installation of the new FieldTurf surface throughout the process. Additionally, the old surface, where the Mountaineers compiled a 55-4 record during the field’s eight-season lifespan, will be cut into pieces and sold to fans. Details on the sale of the old turf will be finalized and made public in the coming weeks.
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